SEATTLE - There's new competition for app-based ridesharing in Seattle. BMW's ReachNow Ride chose Seattle to launch a beta test of the service where you can request a ride from a driver who will pick you up in a BMW.
KIRO 7 Morning Anchor John Knicely talked to ReachNow CEO Steve Banfield on Friday and asked why they chose Seattle.
"Seattle is not only the city we launched car sharing in it's our hometown," Banfield said. "It's really going to be again and again where we launch new services and new features."
The app is in a beta launch, so thousands of people who have a ReachNow profile are getting a notice that they can use the Ride option. ReachNow drivers will only use the ReachNow Cars. The company pays for the gas, insurance, and car maintenance. They're paid hourly and per trip. Compare that to Uber and Lyft drivers who use their own cars, pay for their own gas, and are paid per trip.
KIRO 7 has done stories on how Uber and Lyft do background checks, so Knicely asked Banfield what ReachNow does.
"We do background checks on all our drivers," he said. "We go through and make sure we're putting professional drivers that are trained."
As for cost, the per-minute and mile charges for ReachNow Ride are more expensive. And and Uber and Lyft both have ride booking fees. ReachNow will not have surge pricing.
"We're really trying to provide a premium experience," Banfield Said. "We're never going to be the lowest cost, but we're not going to be the most expensive either."
Currently you can only be picked up by ReachNow Ride in the core area of Seattle, but Banfield said they will continue to expand the coverage. The cars will drop you off wherever including the airport. But you cannot be picked up at the airport yet.
You can find a map of the coverage area here https://reachnow.com/en/ridebetaseattle/
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