AAA to start an app-based car-rental service in Seattle

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AAA Washington, an organization popular for providing roadside assistance, is starting an app-based car-rental service in Seattle this spring, regardless of the closure last year of similar services in the region.

GIG Car Share, a branch within AAA Northern California, will begin deploying vehicles in April with a goal of 250 Toyota Prius hybrid-electric cars on the streets in May.

At first, customers will pay 40 cents per minute or $15 per hour. No application or sign-up fees are needed.

While drivers don’t have to be a member of AAA to use the service, the AAA members will get a 10% discount on every trip. Gas, insurance and parking will be included in the cost.

“We want people to have good options to get around without owning a car,” stated Ethan Bergerson, a representative for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

GIG consumers can pick up and drop off cars at designated parking lots and streetside spots that allow parking for at least one hour within the so-called HomeZone, a geographic location that AAA and the city of Seattle will describe by April.

GIG’s arrival comes only months after Lime shut down its LimePod car-rental program and ReachNow closed its car-rental and ride-hailing services.

Share Now, which founded out of a merger with Car2Go, announced in December it was putting an end to its car-rental service in Seattle and all of North America this month, due to rising operating costs.

Meanwhile, customers have largely flocked to ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft, which continue to expand in Seattle.

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