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GM's Maven car-sharing service coming to Kitchener
#16
(12-07-2016, 10:06 AM)tomh009 Wrote:
(12-07-2016, 07:59 AM)MidTowner Wrote: car2go would probably be better, yes. One doesn't preclude the other, and Maven opening up shop here might even make car2go consider KW in a future expansion. I don't see how Maven coming here can be anything but a good thing, and it's a good sign that their first experiment in the Canadian market is here.

Maven is offering normal cars today (Volt, Cruze, Malibu, Regal, ATS etc), but GM's intent is to get to driverless in the future, same as the other manufacturers.  That won't be for quite some time, though.

Here is an earlier GM Maven announcement. Remember this is really about branding and the future of automobile manufacturing. 

GM can't sit back and wait for the right time. They have to get into the sharing market now.

Here is the headline and the link I promised ... 

Uber and GM partner to offer drivers car sharing through Maven
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#17
Come the new year, CCS's monthly fees will go from $5 to $8/month for occasional members, and from $30 to $40/month for regular plan members.

The hard part of all this is that CCS has to buy all its own cars, and everything has to come from its fees. GM can get cars at literally any price they want to put on the books, and they have an multi-billion-dollar industry which would likely be very happy to undercut a market like ours for the purpose of research. They, however, will only have one location in downtown kitchener, but if they were to sufficiently undercut the highest use rate cars of CCS, they could theoretically knock out that portion of CCS, and perhaps the rest of CCS throughout WR, as well as the other cities in which it operates. Regardless of where on the spectrum this hits CCS, it will be a non-zero consequence.
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#18
Well, I guess it's a question of whether you look at the glass that someone hands you as half full or half empty (or assume it's half full of poison). If the priority should be to protect CCS, then ANY major corporate car-sharing service should be banned from the region, as they could subsidize cars to drive CCS out of business.

Personally, I am in the half-full category. Car sharing is highly strategic for all car manufacturers, not just GM, and they need to find a business model that works and is profitable for them. We are effectively a pilot region for GM, and GM will want to know whether they can make this work profitably (giving away cars is not profitable, and successfully giving away the service for free proves nothing for them). On the other hand, a local non-profit service with a few dozen cars will be too small to even make it onto GM's corporate radar.
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#19
Are there other jurisdictions where a non-profit car share exists alongside for-profit car share services?

Depending on who you talk to, the taxi industry at the driver level is barely for profit and they haven't appreciated services like Uber muscling in around the world. Likewise, it would be interesting to see how corporate-backed car sharing would interact with public transit.
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#20
(12-12-2016, 12:18 PM)nms Wrote: Are there other jurisdictions where a non-profit car share exists alongside for-profit car share services? 

How about Toronto, Vancouver and Regina?

And really the overlap in potential customers between car sharing and transit is minimal.  Not many transit passengers would pay $10/hour for using a car.
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#21
(12-12-2016, 12:18 PM)nms Wrote: Likewise, it would be interesting to see how corporate-backed car sharing would interact with public transit.

Some of the biggest North American carshares are Zipcar (owned by Avis), Enterprise, and Car2go (Daimler). Toronto has all three of those, so that's not a bad place to see how it interacts with transit.

(12-12-2016, 01:42 PM)tomh009 Wrote: And really the overlap in potential customers between car sharing and transit is minimal.  Not many transit passengers would pay $10/hour for using a car.

That's not really true. Carsharing isn't generally cheap, but it's also not something people use on a daily basis. The idea is that even if you mostly get around on foot, bike, or transit, sometimes you need to make a car trip (or use a van, etc.).

It feels like you're assuming transit passengers = poor people, but the reality is there's various reasons for people to take transit, and them doing so doesn't mean they can't afford other options.
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#22
And remember, I wasn't trying to see of Maven's effect on transit users, but on Community CarShare users. CCS is wonderful, but if you're GM and you're trying to look at the technological aspects of Maven, trusting that others have proven the economics, you want lots of users, and for GM, subsidizing Maven sufficiently to cannibalize CCS is entirely reasonable.
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#23
(12-12-2016, 11:15 PM)mpd618 Wrote:
(12-12-2016, 01:42 PM)tomh009 Wrote: And really the overlap in potential customers between car sharing and transit is minimal.  Not many transit passengers would pay $10/hour for using a car.

That's not really true. Carsharing isn't generally cheap, but it's also not something people use on a daily basis. The idea is that even if you mostly get around on foot, bike, or transit, sometimes you need to make a car trip (or use a van, etc.).

It feels like you're assuming transit passengers = poor people, but the reality is there's various reasons for people to take transit, and them doing so doesn't mean they can't afford other options.

No, that's not what I meant.  What I mean (and I think I didn't write very well) is that car sharing won't steal away customers from transit, it's simply too expensive as an alternative, regardless of whether the passengers are poor or not.  Rather it supplements transit by offering a convenient occasional driving option to people who don't have cars, or not the right kind of cars.  Which is basically what you are saying, too.
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#24
I was thinking more of how car-sharing/driverless cars would help with the "last-mile" transit problem. A transit rider getting off at a GO station or an LRT stop may still not find a convenient connection to reach their final destination. For all the intensification that the Region is hoping for, we're not going to see a bulldozing of the suburbs quite yet. A reasonably-priced car share (eg $transit+$carshare < $transit+$parking) might save the Region the challenge of figuring out how to connect each GO transit user with their destination without the need to provide a huge parking structure. This assumes, of course, the ability for one-way trips with either self-driving abilities or an army of drivers... oh wait, I guess those are called taxi drivers. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
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