Leading carsharing company Getaround today announced the launch of its on-demand carsharing service in Chicago and its participation in a federally funded study of peer-to-peer carsharing in the city through a partnership with the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT).

The two-year study will be funded through a $715,000 Federal Highway Administration grant administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Department of Transportation, with additional funding support from CNT.

“The City of Chicago has long been a leader in using innovative ideas to expand quality, safe transportation options – from our popular bike share system to ridesharing – and the fact that Chicago has been chosen for this important new study on carsharing underscores that leading role,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “From the success of our bike sharing program to our many investments to build a 21st century mass transit system, Chicago will continue leading the way forward when it comes to identifying the best ideas for making neighborhoods safer, healthier, and more economically vibrant.”

The study will explore the impact of peer-to-peer carsharing in three specific Chicago-area communities:

  • Low-density and suburban neighborhoods such as Evanston
  • Low and moderate-income communities in Bridgeport, Bronzeville, Pilsen and Rogers Park
  • Closed network communities in large residential developments

The project will rely on Getaround’s connected-car technology, the Getaround Connect™, to collect anonymized trip data to be analyzed and interpreted to help inform future policy and program decisions in the Chicago area and beyond.

“Carsharing and other forms of shared mobility have the potential to offer significant social and economic benefits, such as reducing greenhouse emissions, lowering transportation costs and improving public health,” said Project Director Sharon Feigon, who also serves as SUMC’s executive director and is the former CEO of Chicago’s IGO CarSharing, a company founded by CNT. “The goal of the pilot is to explore a number of new carsharing business models while helping to lessen congestion, improve air quality and create a rich network of options that make it possible to live well without owning a car.”

In addition to announcing its participation in the study, Getaround also announced the launch of its on-demand product in Chicago–eliminating the need for owners and renters to meet in person and hand-off keys.

Getaround allows Chicagoland residents to rent cars nearby with the touch of their phone, and is the only carsharing company that empowers Chicago-area car owners to earn hundreds of dollars each month from their underutilized vehicles.

“We’re honored to be a part of this important milestone in Chicago’s rich transportation history and are thrilled to be bringing our on-demand experience with us,” explains Jessica Scorpio, Founder of Getaround. “Getaround’s goal has always been to empower people to car share everywhere and studies like this are key to learning what that takes. We look forward to growing our community in Chicago while helping to shape and define the policies for the next generation of cities.”

Chicagoans can take advantage of Getaround’s arrival into the Chicago market by signing up at www.getaround.com, or downloading the company’s mobile apps. Sign up is free and insurance is included in every trip.

Image credit: Señor Codo