Car-sharing service Zipcar expanded its Dedicated Zipcar vehicle program in response to demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program grew this week in the 10 cities it already serves and launched in 14 cities.
"The coronavirus crisis has created new needs for our members, especially essential employees, who rely on our convenient on-demand vehicles in urban locations," Justin Holmes, Zipcar vice president of marketing and public policy, said in a statement to Automotive News.
Standard Zipcar services allow users to book a vehicle by the hour or day. Dedicated Zipcar provides Zipcar members exclusive access to keep the same vehicle Monday through Friday.
Dedicated Zipcar rates vary by city and include a monthly membership fee, based on market and class of vehicle, plus a $0.45-per-mile fee. The monthly membership fee ranges from $199 to $349, according to Zipcar. A parking spot, gas and insurance are included.
The expanded service is significant because consumers have been more hesitant to engage with car-sharing and ride-hailing services since the start of the pandemic amid heightened health concerns and hygiene measures.
Dedicated Zipcar options initially were only available in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto.
Dedicated Zipcar is now allocating more of its fleet to those markets and launched in these cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Providence, Sacramento and San Diego.
Zipcar declined to say how many additional vehicles it allocated to Dedicated Zipcar services as part of the expansion.
The mobility industry's many players are at a crossroads during the pandemic. While Zipcar and scooter company Spin are carving out their role in the crisis and expanding or providing additional services, others are scaling back.
Scooter companies Bird and Lime have pulled out of markets across the globe, and ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft face concerns over safety and health measures for both riders and drivers and have suspended their pooled and shared rides as a precaution.