Seemingly out of the blue, and amidst some serious parking concerns in Toronto, comes a brand-new car-sharing service to stir the pot a bit.
General Motors Co. has launched Maven, a car-sharing service that is already operational in major U.S. cities. They’ve dropped around 40 vehicles in parking lots across the city.
“Maven aims to distinguish itself from similar companies like Zipcar, Enterprise CarShare and Car2go, with slicker technology, lower prices and a range of vehicles — from compact cars to SUVs.”
Maven is targeting the millennial demographic, too. Steve Carlisle, president of General Motors Canada, explains that young people (aged 18 to 34) living in dense neighbourhoods probably realize that owning and maintaining a car isn’t “the world’s most convenient thing.”
Parking in Toronto is already a point of debate for councillors, as urban areas densify and make side-street parking near impossible to find. Some personal vehicles barely get used at all, sitting on streets taking up room.
“Coun. Gord Perks warned there are parts of the city where parking demand is overflowing and said council wants some assurance from the various companies that they'll keep their vehicles out of certain areas.”
Perks has also stated that programs such as Car2go have “happily, willfully, very publicly, been breaking our parking laws.” Neglecting parking laws while being granted parking subsidies in the city may have contributed to Car2go’s growth in 2017.
Carlisle hopes Maven vehicles will be more attractive than other car-sharing services, and in turn, minimize the number of personal vehicles on the street.