By John Greenfield
Transportation leaders from across the nation convened last week in Chicago to celebrate the launch of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, a nonprofit that will work to maximize the potential of car-sharing, ride-sharing, and bike-sharing services to benefit the public. The new organization will promote collaboration between the different services, and encourage cooperation between the growing industry and city governments, transit agencies, and community groups.
The shared-mobility industry has the potential to have a major positive impact on air quality, congestion, and public health, and to increase access to jobs, education, and healthcare, said Sharon Feigon, SUMC’s executive director. She formerly led I-GO CarSharing, the service that was run by Chicago’s nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology.
After I-GO was sold to Enterprise CarShare, the CNT board decided to use part of the proceeds to launch SUMC. “The board spent about a year trying to figure out what’s the new thing that can carry out the mission of I-GO, of making it possible to live well without owning a car,” Feigon said. Founding partners also include TransitCenter and the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.