Uber and Lyft Have a New Competitor, BMW
Uber and Lyft have a new competitor, and it's not just another Silicon Valley based startup. ReachNow, BMW's car-sharing service is launching a ride-hailing service of its own.
For those unfamiliar with ReachNow, it offers short-term rentals of BMW and Mini Cooper vehicles, à la Zip Car or Car2go (which plans to merge with ReachNow). Now when users open up the ReachNow app, there's a "Ride" option where you can hail a car to pick you up and take you wherever you need. Seattle is the only city where you'll see this feature, but it's possible it will expand to the other cities where ReachNow operates, Portland and Brooklyn.
ReachNow will differentiate itself by offering a handful of perks like the ability to pre-request the temperature inside your ride, the music selection (or lack thereof), use of phone chargers and free Voss water and candy.
Unfortunately there's no such thing as a free lunch — rides are pricier than competitors Uber and Lyft but on par with higher-end options like Uber Black or Lyft Lux. Trips will costs $2.40 a mile plus 40 cents per minute, in addition to a base charge. However, ReachNow won't participate in surge-pricing.
This differs from Uber and Lyft's strategy of offering preset prices based on the estimated time, distance and demand of a route (and sometimes what it thinks you're willing to pay).
ReachNow drivers are using cars owned by the company, not their own personal vehicles so they'll save on maintenance, gas and insurance costs. They're also paid hourly instead of being compensated per ride. They'll take home $14.25 an hour and full benefits are offered to eligible drivers — they'll even receive a five percent bonus if their average rating stays above 4.8 stars.
H/T: The Seattle Times