GM Testing Car-Sharing Program In NYC As Alternative To Zipcar, Uber

Though carmakers are painfully aware that people living in big cities are less likely to own a car than in less densely populated areas, where public transit isn’t as convenient of an option, that isn’t keeping them from trying to get a foothold one way or another in those markets. At some point or another, even city dwellers find themselves in need of a car. To that end, General Motors is testing a car-sharing program in Manhattan, to rival services like Uber and Zipcar.

GM is kicking off the pilot program — called Let’s Drive NYC — for residents of an apartment complex in Times Square, offering rentals either for $10 per hour or $75 per day, the company said in a press release. Customers in the test program can opt for either a Chevrolet Trax compact sport utility vehicle or Chevy Equinox small SUV.

If the test is successful, the company could roll it out to elsewhere — there are already plans to give it a go in another U.S. city that GM isn’t identifying.

“We view evolving consumer preferences, such as car-sharing, as real business opportunities,” President Dan Ammann said.

Let’s Drive NYC starts today and costs less than Zipcar, which charges $12.75 per hour during the week and $94 for a day and more on weekends. Residents of the apartment complex included in the pilot program will also get three hours of free rentals per month when they make their rent payments.

GM isn’t the first to introduce a car-sharing program, albeit this one is a bit different: Ford launched a peer-to-peer service in six cities recently that allows individual car owners to rent their vehicles out to strangers via an app.

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