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BMW’s new ReachNow ride-sharing app is seen on phones. (BMW)
BMW’s new ReachNow ride-sharing app is seen on phones. (BMW)

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BMW ride-sharing program to challenge Uber, Lyft Add to ...

BMW is going all-in on the ride-share movement with the full suite of offerings, including Uber-style hailing, plus short-term and peer-to-peer rentals.

After experimenting in Seattle and expanding to Portland, BMW’s ReachNow announced Brooklyn as a third destination for the ride-sharing service on Tuesday. The plan for the subsidiary is to continue expanding but there is no definite plan for Canada yet.

So, if you happen to be in the Pacific Northwest or New York, here are the options:

ReachNow: Customers hail a ride via an app as with Lyft and Uber, though the driver is professionally trained. In the first six months of operation, 31,000 people registered and compiled 1.2 million miles, CEO Steve Banfield said.

ReachNow Reserve: Customers drive a 3 Series, i3 or Mini model themselves for an extended period, at a rate of 41 cents (U.S.) per minute. Fuel/charging, insurance and parking are included in the price within a “home area”. Banfield said Seattle-area customers have taken advantage especially to try out the i3 electric car. A car may be reserved via app, or a registered customer can simply walk-up and drive away if a green light appears on a card reader.

ReachNow Share: It enables Mini owners to lease their vehicles directly to renters or to the service for a minimum of two days. It’s a business model borrowed from Turo, a company that connects car owners directly with renters, in much the same way that Airbnb enables home owners to rent rooms or the entire household.

ReachNow and Turo, which operates in Toronto, are challenging Avis, Hertz and National in the traditional car rental business.

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