From: The Washington Post
The Washington region’s car-sharing options are about to expand.
Maven, a car-sharing service launched by General Motors, opens for business Monday in the District offering 40 vehicles in 10 lots scattered throughout the city. Residents and visitors can rent the cars, which range from Chevrolet Volts to Cadillac Escalades, using an app on their smartphones. Rates range from $8 an hour for a compact (like a Chevy Volt) to $24 an hour for a premium SUV (such as a Cadillac Escalade) and include insurance and fuel. There is no membership fee.
The company hopes to distinguish itself from other players in the market by offering “new vehicles with high trim levels.” The OnStar suite of services, which includes keyless entry, also will be available for users free of charge.
The Washington region has proved to be a popular market for car-sharing services. ZipCar has long been an option for residents as has Car2Go. Metro has a partnership with Enterprise CarShare to offer cars at select Metrorail stations.
Maven’s launch comes as many residents may be scrambling for options because of Safe Track, Metro’s year-long maintenance blitz, which means some parts of the rail system will be closed or offering limited service at various times through March. The company also is landing in a city where residents have shown a willingness to forgo car ownership because of the rich variety of transportation options.
Maven has already launched in New York City and Ann Arbor, Mich. In addition to D.C., it also is expanding its service to Chicago and Boston. Company officials say there are currently more than 2,000 active users.