maven car share

Toronto just got a new car sharing service

General Motors just launched the first international branch of its high-tech, youth-focused car sharing network, Maven, right here in Toronto.

Like other car share services in the city, Maven has a fleet of vehicles around the city that members can reserve by the hour, day, week or even month, through a dedicated app.

Rates start at $9 per hour, including gas and insurance coverage, and cars can be picked up from about a dozen different locations in the downtown core (to start.)

What differentiates this newcomer is the bells, whistles and perks that come along with driving one of its vehicles, which are all, of course, made by GM.

Each of Maven's whips come equipped with Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM Radio, Android Auto and the OnStar infotainment platform, but its things like the ability to unlock a car with your smartphone as you approach that the company prides itself on.

"Your phone is the key to everything. So why not your car?" reads the service's website. "From remote start and keyless entry to real-time information and support, our cars connect seamlessly with your phone. So you can keep the world at your fingertips."

Unsurprisingly, given how its positioned itself within the car sharing market, 78 per cent of Maven's U.S. customers are under the age of 30.

"We're among a lot of like-minded companies here, there's a huge tech boom in the city," said Maven and GM Urban Mobility VP Julia Steyn to TechCrunch this week.

"Frankly, for better or for worse, Toronto's issues with congestion and people not wanting to own vehicles is not unique to many other large cities," she said. "We always wanted to have a large-scale deployment and Toronto will afford us that."

Maven, which launched in New York two years ago, is already active in 17 different American cities.

It doesn't have the fleet size of local competitors in Toronto just yet. Only 40 vehicles are available to users at launch – a mix of Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu, Tahoe, Trax and Volt, as well as the GMC Acadia and Yukon and the Cadillac ATS and XT5.

Users will be able to book the vehicles out using the Maven app from King West, Ryerson University, the Eaton Centre, Liberty Village, CityPlace, Bloor West Village, Leslieville and Yonge and Eglinton, among other hoods.

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