On May 18, 2013, the Chicago Transit Authority(CTA) shut down the Southside branch of the Red Line transit system. Train stations from 22nd Street to 95th Street will be closed for approximately 5-6 months to complete repairs to the tracks. There has been a lot of debate why this work is just now taking place and would it have been completed in this manner if it had affected Northside transit stops. At this point the argument is academic because it happened and individuals are making alternative arrangements to move throughout the city. The alternatives are not perfect and leave some with virtually no transit options during the late night hours but individuals are doing what they have to do.
Some individuals have more options than others. For most of those who leave north of 71th street, they can leave the transit system and use short term car rental systems such as I-GO and Zipcar. I-Go and Zipcar. These services allow individuals to rent automobiles for short-term use as an alternative to traditional car rental services. But, those of us who live south of 71st street and west of South Shore Drive do not have that options.
Last year at the Green festival I stopped at the Zipcar table and asked the representative why they did not have locations south of 55th Street(Univ of Chicago) and the best answer he could give me was Der-uh. Back in 2009 the Chi-Town Daily News questioned why these organizations do not have locations in predominately African American communities. Also, several years ago the bloggers at The Sixth Ward Blog also questioned why and in this case someone representing I-Go posted a lame excuse.
So I have to ask the question if the same work was scheduled for the Northside CTA stations would these two organizations have added additional sites? It appears that both I-GO and Zipcar are lock in step with Culvers, in their belief that those who live in predominately African American communities, money is not good enough for them. The answers that we have received sound familiar to the one in the article Retail Redlining.
So since I-Go won’t let me go with them and Zipcar is redlining the Red Line riders, I will leave my car rental dollars with organizations like Enterprise who has locations South of University of Chicago. So what do you think about I-GO and Zipcar?