The company’s move into ride-hailing is part of an emerging trend among personal-transportation companies to offer users multiple ways to get around via one app.
ReachNow, the company that offers short-term rentals of BMWs and Mini Coopers, has launched a ride-hailing service that will compete with Uber and Lyft.
Seattle, where ReachNow is based, is the first city to get the feature. The service, called Ride, is included in a new app available to download on iOS and Android devices.
ReachNow’s move into ride hailing is part of an emerging trend among personal transportation companies to offer users multiple ways to get around via one app. Recently,Uber acquired the bike-share company JUMP, which offers bright-red electric bikes.
ReachNow’s new ride-hailing service bets on filling markets such as people who want to drive its cars to a bar but need a safe trip home — and might have otherwise turned to Uber, Lyft or a cab for a ride.
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The company is aiming to create a higher-end experience by offering riders Voss water, candy and use of phone chargers, and allowing customers to request through the app quiet time, a preselected radio station and even the temperature setting inside the car.
One big difference with ReachNow is drivers are paid by the hour, not by the ride.
Rides are priced at $2.40 per mile plus 40 cents per minute and a base charge.
ReachNow “doesn’t do surge pricing,” the increase in fare prices during times of high demand, said Simon Broesamle, chief customer officer.
“We believe in being upfront, transparent and reliable,” he said.
Uber says surge pricing helps “ensure those who need a ride can get one” and it “lets us continue to be a reliable choice.” Lyft uses a system called Prime Time that also changes based on the supply of drivers and demand of rides.
Unlike Uber and Lyft, ReachNow drivers will use existing ReachNow cars, not their personal vehicle.
The company has 1,300 cars total available in the two cities and borough where it operates: Seattle, Portland and Brooklyn, New York.
“We don’t want to add more cars to the street,” Broesamle said.
The drivers are employees of a company called Ecoservice, which contracts with ReachNow.
They earn $14.25 an hour, before taxes, and work specific shifts, mostly in North Seattle.
Benefits, including medical, dental and vision care, are offered to all eligible drivers, the company said. Because drivers are using ReachNow cars, they are not responsible for gas, insurance, maintenance or the amenities offered to customers.
Drivers are eligible to receive a 5 percent bonus each weekly pay period that they have a rating between 4.8 and 5 stars, the company said.
Earlier this year, ReachNow and Car2Go, Daimler’s on-demand car-rental service, announced plans to merge into one entity. That deal is still awaiting approval from antitrust authorities, a ReachNow spokeswoman said.