DOWNTOWN — Enterprise will not bring back its car-sharing program after it pulled the service earlier this month, blaming crime in Chicago.
Enterprise stopped accepting new Chicago reservations to its CarShare service in mid-June, saying the move was a "direct effect of significant vandalism, theft and fraud" in the city in an email to members of the program. In another email sent Wednesday, the company informed customers CarShare would not be returning.
"Enterprise has decided to scale back its car-sharing operations and shift its focus away from retail consumer programs in Chicago," the company wrote.
Enterprise CarShare will provide members with a prorated refund, refunds for credit balances and a 15 percent discount at "nearby" Enterprise Rent-a-Car locations for one year when customers use the code 15CS15 when reserving a car online.
The company wrote that it hoped CarShare members would be able to use cars from Enterprise Rent-a-car to make up for the loss of CarShare.
Enterprise's announcement that it would stop accepting reservations had come as a surprise to customer Bryan Shrode, of the South Loop, he said in mid-June. Shrode and many of his neighbors relied on two CarShare cars kept in their building.
"They had thousands of cars all over Chicago. It's made life way easier without a car in Chicago," Shrode said. "It's a little scary, I guess, when you think about it because I'm so dependent on these car-sharing [programs] now."
Another customer, Jane Michalski, of Logan Square, said the move had also come as a surprise to her — but that the service had experienced more problems since Enterprise bought it.
"It has created an inconvenience in the last couple of weeks when the cars disappeared," Michalski said in mid-June. "We do need to have another car available to us. We'll probably switch to ZipCar and see how that works out."
CarShare allowed members to reserve cars from around the city, sharing them with other members. The service is also available in New York City, San Francisco and other major cities.