Uber’s Car-Sharing To Start In Boston
Uber held their Go-Get Product event in London yesterday, and announced some exciting expansion plans. It is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 drivers in the market, but now we will see more cars with the infamous black and white logo. Uber detailed plans for Boston to be one of their launch markets for their new car-sharing service.
What Is Car Share?
If you are unfamiliar, car-sharing has a prominent place in the greater Boston. Zipcar launched the first concept of community members sharing cars in Cambridge back in 2000. Though now owned by Avis Budget Group, Zipcar still maintains its headquarters in the Boston Seaport.
The process of car-sharing is that it is a member-based model, allowing users to reserve cars (usually via an App) for short periods of time. The car has a home base where it is picked up from and returned to. Cars can be reserved by the hour or by the day.
Major selling points to this method of transportation include the fact that the user is the driver and in control of their trip. Gas is also included in each trip. Typically, you then pay an hourly rate based that is determined by the market you are in and the vehicle you selected to reserve.
How Is Uber’s Car-Share Service Different?
Unlike major players in this space, like Zipcar, the cars under operation will be privately owned (Zipcar/Avis Budget Group own their fleet). With Uber, the car owner is much like the typical car driver. TechCrunch reported that with Uber, “owners will have the power to set the final price as well as availability.”
Uber did not relay when exactly this option will launch in Boston. They set expectations that it can be later this year, with more details to follow. Boston is the sixth largest Uber market, but may see that number increase with car-sharing being an additional option.