Nonprofits test car-sharing market

As companies like Zipcar have popularized car-sharing, some localities are testing nonprofit models that they hope will expand the reach and scope of these programs. Chicago (IL) has I-GO, Boulder (CO) has eGO CarShare, and Syracuse (NY) has CuseCar, which is run by Synapse Sustainability Trust. “We’re not driven by dollars per share per quarter,” says Al Stirpe, the executive director of the trust. “We’re more driven by the mission of lowering our carbon footprint and reducing the numbers of vehicles that come into the city.” The nonprofit model allows car-sharing services like CuseCar to operate in smaller markets that the major players do not consider profitable. Nonprofit status also let services test new features and concepts including “some strange (and ultimately not super-successful) ideas,” according to The Atlantic. For CuseCar, these ideas included everything from providing a “drunk-bus ride” for late-night party-goers to installing electric vehicle charging stations for its plug-in Priuses (currently underway). Link to full story in The Atlantic.

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