Some new companies are taking a cue from Uber in an effort to change the way New Yorkers get around. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report about two companies that have launched in Brooklyn are quickly gaining speed.
It's a service that's promising to shake up the car rental business. Silvercar is a new smartphone-based service with no paperwork, no lines, no tough decisions -- every car's a loaded Audi.
It's just an app, and the cars can only be rented here in Williamsburg.
Why in Brooklyn?
"It's such a cool area," said Silvercar general manager Nick Myers. "It speaks to our brand, especially the Chelsea Hotel Group and the McCarren Hotel here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It's just a really cool spot."
After its success in nine cities across the country, Texas-based Silvercar jumped into the New York market last month with $99-a-day rentals. The cars are garaged at a hotel, where managers say it's a great amenity.
"People coming in, not just hotel guests but also people from the neighborhood," said general manager Alistair MacLean. "We have condos here as well. So all these people want to get out of town on the weekend. It's just convenient."
Kyle Hughes came all the way from New Jersey.
"I'm trying it for the first time and it's as easy as can be," said Hughes.
It's that ease and convenience that's also driving the success of Car2Go, an app-based service that's also set up shop in Brooklyn using only smart cars.
"We have 450 vehicles in Brooklyn and what our members are able to do is open up our app and see where our nearest car is," said Thomas McNeil, Car2Go General Manager.
The map shows where the cars are parked. A user reserves one, then uses the app to unlock it and access the key inside. After driving the car, the user parks on the street where the car stays until it's rented again.
Parking, by the way, is a breeze. A Smart Car is about the length of an arm span.
Car2Go operates in 15 North American cities. It launched in Brooklyn nine months ago, in an area that's only from Greenpoint to Coney Island, but the company already has 30,000 members.
"App-based technologies are realizing that transportation inside of Brooklyn is tough and this is great way to get around," said Carlo Scissura, President of Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
As the population and the popularity of Brooklyn continue to increase, both car companies say they will grow to meet the demand.