A startup free-floating car-share service, GIG Car Share, is entering the Seattle market in April, with plans to have a fleet of 250 cars fully deployed in the city by May.
GIG offers a one-way car share service and currently operates some 500 hybrid-electric vehicles in the San Francisco Bay Area and another 260 all-electric vehicles in Sacramento, California. The car-share service was launched in 2017 through A3Ventures, which is AAA’s innovation lab in Berkley, California.
“We have three years of experience successfully operating car-share service in Sacramento, Berkley and Oakland, and we’re excited to expand into Seattle,” says Jason Haight, president of GIG Car Share. “As we bring GIG into its latest market, we look forward to working closely with the city of Seattle to meet more people’s transportation needs in the Pacific Northwest.”
With the launch of service in Seattle, GIG will become the largest free-floating car-share service in the country, the company notes. It currently has some 65,000 members and with the addition of the Seattle fleet will operate more than 1,000 hybrid and electric cars across all its markets.
“With no application or sign-up fees and initial pricing of 40 cents per minute or $15 per hour, members pay as they go, making Gig more affordable than a traditional car rental,” the company said in announcing its Seattle expansion. “Gig offers 24/7 call center support and emergency road service, plus gas, insurance and parking are built into Gig’s all-inclusive pricing. While you don’t have to be a AAA member to use GIG Car Share, AAA members receive a 10% discount on every trip.”
The company, as part of its marketing push for the Seattle launch, is offering two hours of free driving to those who register and are approved by March 15 ― using the promo code SEAGIG.
As of the end of this month, GIG will have the free-floating car-share road all to itself in Seattle, as competitor car2go plans to shut down all of its operations in North America effective Feb. 29, according to news reports. Free-floating car-share services ReachNow and LimePod exited Seattle last year. Other car-share services, such as Zipcar, still operate in the city, though they are not set up as free-floating services ― which allow drivers to rent cars that are parked near them and drop them off at their destinations.
“The city of Seattle is proud to partner with AAA Washington and GIG Car Share to foster an environment where mobility innovation can thrive,” says Sam Zimbabwe, director of the Seattle Department of Transportation. “Car sharing is a critical component of making a city where people can have reliable transportation while reducing single occupancy vehicle use and we are excited to have a new entrant into the market.”