Can GM’s Maven ridesharing service make it big in New York City?

Maven in New York City

General Motors’ Maven is now a nationwide mobility-service brand, but it started out as a relatively limited operation in 2015, offering carsharing services to residents of luxury apartment buildings in New York City. Now Maven is returning to the Big Apple in full force.

For the first time, Maven is offering car sharing to the general public in New York. It’s deploying more 80 cars in Manhattan, with plans to expand to the city’s outer boroughs in the future. Cars are available for hourly or daily rentals, coordinated through Maven’s smartphone app.

Maven currently operates in 17 North American cities, and many of those don’t have the dense public-transit network most New Yorkers rely on to get from place to place. But Maven believes its carsharing service can still be a valuable transportation tool by making it easier for residents to get out of the city.

Owning a car in New York City just for the occasional trip to Long Island, New Jersey, or Connecticut admittedly doesn’t make a lot of sense. Yet that’s what many New Yorkers do, because once you leave Manhattan, public-transportation options start to dwindle very quickly. Maven believes car sharing can fill that niche, and virtually eliminate the need for New Yorkers to own their own cars.

The New York City carsharing fleet includes “carefully selected lifestyle-oriented cars,” according to a Maven press release. As a GM brand, Maven can pull cars from Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, or GMC. One vehicle specifically mentioned was the Cadillac Escalade, which probably wouldn’t be most people’s first choice for navigating New York traffic.

In certain other cities, Maven also offers rentals to Lyft and Uber drivers alongside its carsharing service. Earlier this month, it expanded on that concept with Maven Gig, a new service that lets customers rent a Chevrolet Bolt EV and use it for multiple freelance services simultaneously. Maven Gig is limited to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, but it way expand to other U.S. cities in the future.