Move over, two-seater Car2Gos – us carless folks have a new, roomier way of getting around town.
As of today, Seattleites can reserve cars on their smartphones through ReachNow, BMW's new car sharing program. According to GeekWire, there are currently 370 ReachNow cars available across the city, which are "a mix of BMW 3 Series, MINI Cooper, and all-electric BMW i3 cars."
The service brings an alternative to Car2go, the popular car-sharing service in Seattle that works very much like ReachNow: Customers use a smartphone app (iOS, Android) to find available vehicles, hop in a car, drive to their destination, and park in any legal city parking spot. Fuel, insurance, and parking costs are included.
Seattle is the first city in North America to have access to ReachNow, which is based on BMW's Drive Now service in Europe. The app-based service will launch in three other U.S. cities this year and the service will also eventually become available to 10 other metros across the continent. Thankfully, the service isn't insanely expensive, either, GeekWire reports.
• $0.49 per minute while vehicle is used ($0.41 per minute for limited time at launch)
• $0.30 per minute while parked
• $39 registration fee (free for limited time at launch)
• Automatic price caps at 3 hours ($50), 12 hours ($80), and 24 hours ($110)
ReachNow could be a cheaper — not to mention more environmentally friendly — transportation option than buying your own car. And it could even help reduce the number of cars on the road, GeekWire says.
The Seattle Department of Transportation released data last month showing how in 2015, “car-share users may have given up approximately 9,100 vehicles with approximately 4,550 of them related directly to the availability of free-floating car share services.
Still, another car service isn't as exciting as, say, expanded mass transit. But at least sharing cars is a step in the right direction to decrease this city's insane gridlock.