GM Launches Car-Sharing in NYC
At GM, we’re continually innovating new urban mobility solutions to address the biggest challenges to sustainable transportation today and in the future, such as overpopulation, urbanization and road congestion. Our latest project is Let’s Drive NYC, a car-sharing program available to eligible residents of The Ritz Plaza apartments at Times Square in midtown Manhattan.
Residents of the 479-unit luxury apartment building, owned and managed by Stonehenge Partners, use a GM-developed mobile app to reserve a vehicle and access parking in one of 200 garages throughout Manhattan managed by Icon Parking Systems. The fleet currently includes eight Chevrolet Trax small SUVs and two Chevrolet Equinox compact SUVs, with more vehicles to be added later.
GM President Dan Ammann said the program is just one part of the company’s global urban mobility strategy.
“We view evolving consumer preferences such as car-sharing as real business opportunities, where we can quickly build on our existing capabilities such as OnStar connectivity to very effectively meet customer needs,” said Ammann.
The car-sharing program signals our plans to become a vital part of the sharing economy, demonstrating how personal transportation fits into growing urban populations. It’s also about making customers’ lives easier by getting them from point A to point B efficiently, especially in crowded urban cities.
The approach not only advances our long-term environmental sustainability, but creates economic impact through new revenue streams from mobility service offerings.
Andy Chediak, a 32 year-old Stonehenge resident, said that having a car in the city didn’t seem realistic, but that the GM car-sharing program changes that.
“The quick and easy access to a car on demand at The Ritz Plaza is a game-changer that fundamentally alters my approach to transportation,” said Chediak.
Residents receive three hours of car rental per month for free. After that, they pay less than $10 an hour up to $75 for a daylong reservation.
Unlike other mobility service offerings, Let’s Drive NYC leverages integrated and existing OnStar connectivity technologies and services such as remote diagnostic status, and access to OnStar advisors with the push of a button.
We offered the program earlier this summer to select Ritz Plaza residents. Altogether they completed more than 100 trips and drove nearly 20,000 miles in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area. Based on the pilot, GM, Stonehenge and Icon were quick to broaden the program.
“Owning a vehicle in New York City is expensive and inconvenient,” said Ofer Yardeni, chairman and CEO of Stonehenge. “GM’s Let’s Drive NYC car-sharing program delivers a valuable and sought-after amenity, and residents of The Ritz Plaza are taking full advantage of it.”
Our urban mobility initiatives range from investments to pilot programs to partnerships — all of which have a common goal to better understand and address urban mobility issues and solutions for our customers.
Last spring, we partnered with Google at its Mountain View, California campus to pilot a commuter ride-sharing system with Chevrolet Spark EVs using an app that matched drivers and riders based on travel patterns and schedules. The project demonstrated value and potential in creating transportation services around automotive, leading to other initiatives, like the Let’s Drive NYC program.
Other initiatives providing behavioral insights and data include:
- Launch of bike sharing via Zagster at GM’s Warren Technical Center last summer gives 19,000 employees new options for getting to and from 61 buildings covering the 330-acre campus.
- Launch of Opel’s new car-sharing community CarUnity in Germany enables people to offer their car for rental or to rent a car easily through an app.
- Partnership with flinc enables Opel’s Russelsheim headquarters employees use of the ride-sharing service.
- Collaboration with Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China on a vehicle-sharing program will integrate Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 vehicles within a multi-modal transportation system alongside bikes, cars and shuttle buses in 2016.