For those who haven’t already gone insane trying to navigate New York City’s notoriously congested streets, there’s now a new, more tech-friendly way to rent a car in the Big Apple. Maven, the car-sharing service spun off from General Motors last year, is launching in Manhattan this week with more than 80 vehicles available for hourly and daily reservations.
Maven, in which customers can find and book a car parked nearby on their smartphone, says it will have a diverse mix of vehicles for customers to choose from, including Cadillac XT5, Escalade, and ATS; Buick Encore; and Chevy Equinox, Trax, Malibu, and Cruze. Unlike its service in Los Angeles, though, Maven won’t be offering any all-electric Chevy Bolts in New York City.
While other car-sharing services, like Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s Reach Now, have set their sites on the outer boroughs (namely Brooklyn) when launching in New York City, Maven is taking the risky step of concentrating its service in the city’s most popular and gridlocked borough, Manhattan. To pull this off, Maven is placing many of its cars at parking garages, so customers picking up a car will need to obtain their vehicle through the lot attendants before heading out on their excursion.
Maven won’t be bring its new gig economy-focused product, Maven Gig, to the city — likely because of the city’s byzantine rules regarding ride-hailing, base affiliation, and other Taxi and Limousine Commission requirements.
When it launched in January 2016, GM said that Maven would be its new “personal mobility brand,” reflecting a trend in the auto industry of spinning off new, millennial-friendly businesses as a hedge against perceived declines in personal car ownership. Since then, Maven has grown to 17 cities in the US and Canada, boasting 39,000 members who have made more than 50,000 reservations.