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General Motors’ Maven Gig Arrives In San Fran To Support On-Demand Economy

SF is the second city for the General Motors car sharing venture, Maven, as it builds out it looks to be the official ride of the 'gig economy.'

Maven Gig, the offshoot brand of General Motors’ multi-city shared-mobility, subscription-based project Maven, is moving into its second city to provide cars for independent freelancers who need wheels.

The first Maven Gig service was launched in May in San Diego. The primary Maven car rental service has been operating on-demand ride-sharing rentals in San Francisco since August 2016. More than 20 million miles have been driven under the Maven brand in San Francisco and nearly 1 million rides have been given.

In February, Atlanta became the 17th city to host GM’s experiment in car-sharing conjunction with Lyft Express Drive, the ride-hailing platform’s rental car business. Since then, Maven has expanded its presence in New York City and Baltimore.

As concepts from self-driving cars to connected cars, along with the expansion of ride-hailing programs from Uber and Lyft, become more mainstream, automakers like GM have been racing to explore new business models.

Maven Gig is available in San Francisco and San Diego. Drivers can sign up online.

Supporting The Gig Economy

The rise of on-demand services from ride-hailing to food delivery to even laundry and dry cleaning pick-up has made freelancing viable for many people seeking part-time work or trying to support themselves in between full-time jobs.

Naturally, the nature of work in the gig economy has also multiplied the challenges for independent contractors. For one thing, a car is a necessity not easily supported by the wages most delivery people make.

That’s where GM’s Maven Gig has stepped in. The Maven Gig has formal partnerships with food-delivery platforms like GrubHub, Instacart, as well as courier and shipping service Roadie, along with ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber.

The company is working on expanding its list of on-demand partners as it seeks to ramp up the program.

“By 2020, an estimated 43 percent of the U.S. workforce will be made up of freelance workers,” Maven Gig says. “The nature of employment is changing, and Maven Gig is a nimble platform that will grow and adapt with the shift.”

Freelancers who subscribe to Maven Gig in San Francisco are offered access to a Chevrolet Bolt EV on a weekly basis starting at $229 per-week — plus taxes (including insurance, maintenance and free charging at EVGo stations for a “limited time”).

“Gig drivers typically drive for more than one app throughout the day,” GM notes. “Maven Gig is platform agnostic to allow drivers to switch between several brands, services and gigs.”

Other GM cars available in the SF Maven Gig program include the Chevrolet Cruze ($189/week plus taxes), Malibu ($199/week plus taxes) and Trax ($209/week plus taxes).

The program is particularly aimed at those Gig Economy workers who juggle several platforms for their assignments. GM is positioning Maven Gig as “a low-risk way to test the freelance economy and maximize earning potential by transitioning between multiple on-demand services.”

The company also says its continuing to experiment with pricing and will adjust offerings based on the gig economy and driver needs.

As restaurants increasingly rely on on-demand delivery apps to provide a new revenue stream and supplement in-dining experiences, GM is betting that companies will rush to find ways to make it easier to build constant sources of delivery people.

“Freelancers in the sharing economy want flexibility and Maven Gig is a seamless way to maximize opportunities,” said Rachel Bhattacharya, director of Commercial Mobility Strategy for Maven. “If the driver has a lull on one service they can easily flip to another and keep hustling.”