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Maven launches car-sharing service in Toronto

14 February 2018 Stephanie Brinley, MBA

General Motors' (GM) mobility services subsidiary Maven has announced that it has launched its car-sharing service in the Canadian city of Toronto. Initially, Maven will offer 40 vehicles as part of the service, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu, Tahoe, Trax and Volt; GMC Acadia and Yukon; and Cadillac ATS and XT5. The service's rates will start at CAD9 (USD7.15) per hour, including gasoline (petrol) and insurance (minus a deductible). As in other cities where the service is offered, Maven customers in Toronto access the cars through the service's mobile app, which includes locating, reserving, and unlocking the vehicle. Maven says that car-sharing reduces congestion and that each shared car takes about 10 private cars off the road. Additionally, according to Maven, people who use round-trip car sharing are more likely to leverage other transportation options including bus, rail, walking, biking, and carpooling. The company has selected parking locations based on where it expects demand to be, including key city areas. According to an Automotive News report, the city of Toronto already has several car-sharing services, including Daimler AG's Car2Go, Enterprise CarShare, and Zipcar, although Maven competes more directly with Car2Go. In addition, Toronto adopted a "vehicle-for-hire" law in 2016 that eased the way for ride-hailing businesses; as a result, the lesser-known Facedrive, Instaryde, and RideIn services are available, along with those of Uber and Lyft.

Significance: Maven's service continues to grow at a measured pace, although Toronto may be the most competitive market the service has entered so far. GM has not yet provided feedback on Maven's financial performance or objectives, as it is focused on building the service, as well as leveraging its successes and failures to build a more robust long-term mobility business.

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