BMW will launch its ReachNow car-sharing service in Portland on Sept. 19, the car-maker announced today.
Earlier this month, BMW said it would bring ReachNow to Portland, but today the company set a launch date and revealed more details about the program.
“As a pioneering city for transportation alternatives, Portland is proud to welcome ReachNow,” Leah Treat, director of Portland Bureau of Transportation, said in a statement. “On-demand car-sharing naturally supports our existing transit and bike infrastructure, helping Portlanders get where they need to go, when they need to be there.”
BMW first debuted ReachNow in Seattle this past April and placed 370 free-floating vehicles — a mix of BMW 328xi Series sedans, MINI Coopers, and the all-electric BMW i3 — around town, allowing people to get from Point A to Point B and park in any city spot within a “Home Area” that encompasses much of Seattle proper. After more than 13,000 members signed up within the first month, BMW added another 120 vehicles to its fleet in Seattle.
The same vehicles will be on the roads in Portland next month, except the BMW i3, which will be available later this year. Also joining the fleet in the coming months will be BMW’s X1 SUV, which is not in Seattle.
It’s not clear exactly how many vehicles will be available at launch in Portland.
BMW will give the first members to sign up in Portland an exclusive two-week preview driver period starting Sept. 6.
As far as the “Home Area” in Portland, here’s how BMW describes it:
ReachNow’s initial Home Area during the two-week Preview Drive includes the Convention Center, Central Eastside, Downtown and the Pearl District neighborhoods. When the service fully launches on September 19, the Home Area will expand in the north to Columbia Blvd., east to 72nd Avenue, south to Woodstock Blvd. and Sellwood Moreland, and west to Goose Hollow and Northwest District. As membership grows, more vehicles will be added to the fleet, and the Home Area will expand to serve more areas of the city.
As part of the launch, BMW is waiving the registration fee ($39) and reducing its per-minute rates by $0.08 to $0.41 (along with a $0.30 per minute rate while parked). It did the same in Seattle at launch four months ago, and will end that promotion at the end of this month.
In Portland, BMW will compete directly with Daimler-owned Car2go, which launched in the Rose City four years ago. Car2go has more than 45,000 members using 465 Smart car vehicles in Portland.
Car2go charges lower by-the-minute, hourly, and daily rates in Portland. ReachNow, however, charges a lower rate when vehicles are parked, and is temporarily slashing its membership sign-up fee while matching Car2go’s per-minute rate.
Other car-sharing competitors in Portland include Zipcar, Getaround and Turo. Separately, but related to transportation, Portland also just launched a new bike-sharing program. Uber and Lyft were legalized in Portland this past December.
ReachNow, which recently opened a parking lot at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, has its North American operations based in Seattle. It will launch in two additional cities this year, with plans to eventually service 10 North American metros.