Enterprise Holdings Inc., the parent of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo and National, has acquired Chicago-based nonprofit car-sharing service I-Go, the companies announced Tuesday.
Enterprise Holdings didn't disclose what it paid for I-Go, which has a membership of roughly 15,000.
St. Louis-based Enterprise said in a statement that I-Go's services will continue being offered under its current name as part of the Enterprise CarShare network, while I-Go CEO Sharon Feigon and her team will "help manage Enterprise's newest car-sharing division and further enhance its local commitment.
"As a nonprofit, this seemed like the way to bring new resources and be able to expand and keep doing what we're doing in a stronger, broader way," Feigon told Crain's Chicago Business.
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I-Go, the first car-sharing program in Chicago, was founded in 2002 as a pilot program of the Center for Neighborhood Technology. The company now has more than 250 vehicles and offers a joint initiative with the Chicago Transit Authority that gives customers access to both I-Go cars and Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses with one smart card.
After the Avis-Zipcar merger, "We had a lot of interest from (car-rental companies)," said Feigon. "At first we weren't interested, but we thought because Enterprise is focused on neighborhoods, and they're known for their great customer service, that they would be a good fit for us and our members."
She says I-Go members won't notice any changes in how they reserve and use the cars.
"It will be good for our members because (Enterprise) wants to grow," Ms. Feigon said, noting that Enterprise aims to replace I-Go's older cars and add to its fleet.
She also noted the acquisition means that I-Go can build up its presence "in some of the neighborhoods where we don't have enough cars."
"One of the benefits you get as a car-sharing member is you have access to a variety of cars. I think we'll be able to have more variety available."
"We're very proud of our work in Chicago and in the car-sharing industry," she said. "Car-sharing has gone mainstream, and we want to keep growing to meet the demand."