AAA Joins Car-Sharing Movement

OAKLAND, Calif. — AAA is getting in on the car-sharing craze.

AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah (NCNU) is launching Gig, a car-sharing service that will enable drivers without a car access to one on the spot, according to a Mercury News report. It will launch in Oakland and Berkeley, Calif., at the end of April.

Gig lets drivers find a car near them, get in and go. The one-way model allows them to pick up a car in one location and drop it off in another, without returning the vehicle to where they started.

"It's extending AAA's core focus of enabling mobility," said Mike Hetke, executive vice president and chief innovation officer at AAA NCNU. "We see a fundamental shift from individual car ownership to shared."

Hetke added that Gig is a way for AAA to help increase access to cars and share the brand with young urban dwellers who prefer to use ride-sharing or car-sharing services instead of buying vehicles.

The Gig fleet includes 250 Toyota Prius cars with bicycle racks. Gas, insurance and parking are included in the trips, but drivers who take long trips may have to refuel. Gig charges $2.50 per mile, $15 per hour or $85 per day depending on what is the cheapest rate overall for drivers. AAA members receive a 10-percent discount.

Gig will only be available in Oakland and Berkeley to start, but AAA hopes to expand to other areas in the future. It had to partner with those cities to offer a free-floating program where cars could be parked in metered spots between drives, according to the report.

The service is the first development from AAA NCNU's A3 Ventures program, an Oakland-based operation that serves as AAA's innovation arm and is solely dedicated to developing new business models, products and services.

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