Car-sharing is slowly making a comeback in Seattle.
AAA’s GIG Car Share service launched this summer, filling a void left by ReachNow, car2go, and Lime – which all shut down in recent years after struggling to build a profitable business.
Now GIG is expanding in Seattle, expanding its footprint from 15 to 23 square miles and adding another 120 Toyota Prius vehicles to its fleet, on top of the 250 cars available at launch.
GIG users are expected to reach a combined one million miles of driving in the Seattle area over the past five months.
It costs 40 cents per minute or $ 15 per hour to rent a GIG vehicle, about in line with what the previous services charged. GIG covers gas and insurance fees. Drivers pick up a car, drive it around, and can park it anywhere in the home zone.
GeekWire reviewed GIG in July and came away impressed with both the vehicle and the app experience.
Earlier this year, companies that operate shared similar mobility services such as dockless bike and scooter rentals cut staff and pulled out of cities as they attempted to weather the coronavirus storm. But AAA is clearly seeing enough demand in Seattle to expand.
Seattle also now has scooters available to rent as the city runs a pilot program.
AAA’s innovation lab A3Ventures launched GIG in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2017. The service currently operates more than 1,000 hybrid and electric GIG vehicles in Oakland, Berkeley, and Sacramento and now Seattle. AAA says that the Seattle expansion makes it the largest free-floating car-sharing service in the nation, with 65,000 members.
Los Angeles-based Envoy also announced an expansion to the Seattle region earlier this year. The company allows neighbors in housing developments to share an electric vehicle.
Zipcar also continues to operate in Seattle, though its vehicles must be returned to dedicated parking spots.