Shift, a car-sharing alternativeEnlarge Photo
Have you ever thought to yourself, "You know, I'd consider joining Zipcar, but sometimes, all I need is a bike"? Or maybe, "I love the idea of car-sharing, but I only dig electric cars"?
Shift may be just what you're looking for.
Shift is a start-up transportation service based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It hasn't yet launched, so specifics about the service are sketchy. (Its mission and values page is vague enough to have been written by a boutique marketing firm. Sample sentences: "When people connect more frequently, innovation, productivity and happiness rises. We exist to make connecting easier and more frequent." Ugh.)
What we do know is that Shift aims to differentiate itself by blending elements of Zipcar and Uber, and folding in a healthy dose of eco-friendliness. According to Fast Company, Shift plans to offer a range of transportation options in exchange for monthly membership fees that start around $25. Those options can include bikes, smart fourtwo electric drive microcars, and Tesla Model S sedans with chauffeurs, depending on the sort of travel members need to do.
But most interesting of all, Shift plans to deliver bikes and cars to its members, not the other way around. And it intends to do so within five minutes of users' requests.
Shift hasn't opened to the public yet, so it's hard to evaluate its services. However, it seems like the sort of thing that could be attractive to eco-minded young urban-dwellers -- especially those who live in less-densely populated cities with thinner mass transit options. (Though the prospect of biking through Vegas in the summer seems...less appealing.)
We'll know more when Shift gets real this fall. Or, more likely, winter.