Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

BMW ride-sharing program to challenge Uber, Lyft

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


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:

Story continues below advertisement

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.

We've redesigned the Drive section – take a look

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to