DUBLIN, March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Two months after investing in ride-hailing app Lyft, General Motors have announced plans to launch a short-term car rental program aimed at attracting more drivers to the service. The Express Drive program will initially offer Chevrolet Equinox SUVs to Lyft Drivers in Chicago, before rolling out in Boston, Baltimore and Washington D.C.
According to reports, the cars will be rented out for $99 a week. Drivers will pay 20 cents a mile, but this charge will be dropped once they surpass 40 rides a week. If a driver completes 65 rides or more in a week, the rental is free. GM spent $500 million in January on a 9% stake in Lyft, as it ramps up its efforts to compete with Uber.
Over the past three decades, car-sharing has grown from a basic service provided by popular organizations to a widely recognized urban transport industry. It is also quickly developing into a globalized industry, providing many transportation, land use, environmental, and social benefits. In the APAC region alone, it is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 39.06. The adoption of corporate car sharing schemes as a replacement for traditional company cars is also propelling growth. The corporate car-sharing market in Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 87.22% by 2019.
Lyft co-founder John Zimmer says the company has received over 150,000 applications from drivers whose cars aren't good enough for the service in those four cities. Vehicles must be from the 2004 model year or newer, have four doors and pass a 19-point vehicle inspection.
GM will provide SUVs for the drivers through their Maven car-sharing business, which lets people rent a car for as short as an hour. Over the past few decades, car rentals have grown into a popular urban transport industry. It gives people the freedom to choose cars based on their requirements and budget, which may change over time. That market is also forecast to grow at a CAGR of 15.32% by 2019.
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