May 20, 2020
Car-sharing platforms, which have suffered during the Covid-19 lockdown, see an opportunity emerging: an increase in short-distance, local trips as U.S. consumers look for a different way of getting to work and running errands.
Executives from Turo, GetAround and ZipCar are hoping their pitch to customers—a means of travel that is cheaper than car ownership and sanitary—will also win business from public transit users and Uber and Lyft riders.
In addition to the uptick in shorter trips, the companies also report increased use by essential workers and health-care workers. “Customer confidence in travel safety can change their booking habits,” said Preeti Wadhwani, a research analyst with Global Market Insights. “Health-care providers or first responders are relying on car-sharing companies such as Turo to commute to work.”
GetAround says overall trip volume in the U.S. has declined by almost 50% since states began shutting down their economies in mid-March. Turo says its business also has fallen dramatically, undoing the 60% year-on-year growth they saw as recently as February, according to Chief Executive Officer Andre Haddad. Zipcar also reports an “expected decline in demand,” particularly in business travel and on university campuses, Zipcar President Tracey Zhen said in an email…
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