An amenity trend we can get behind: car-sharing for the whole building

By Virginia K. Smith  | December 9, 2015 - 3:59PM

File this under 'amenities that actually make life easier': the Ritz Plaza Times Square recently rolled out Let's Drive NYC, a program that lets residents of the 479-unit luxury building have 24-hour access to vehicles located in a garage adjacent to the building, and available to rent at either an hourly or day rate. Since the program—a partnership with GM—is also a partnership with Icon Parking Systems, parking is included at garages all over the city, as well.

"One of the biggest pain points in New York is access to vehicles," Zafar Razzacki of General Motors explains. "[With Let's Drive NYC], just like you’ve got your gym membership and your pool and whatever else that comes with the building, the car is another piece of that."

It works like this: Residents check in on the app, and choose from a selection of different of cars to rent for $9/hour, or $75/day. (Insurance costs and gas are included, as well.) The program's operating boundaries are anywhere within the tri-state area, so you could theoretically use this in lieu of a vacation car rental, and Razzacki says that currently, more residents use the program for "weekend getaways, family visits, etc." than for day-to-day errand-running around the city. (Costco fans, where are you?)

Right now, the program is only in the Ritz Plaza—where the cheapest rental option is currently a $2,880/month studio, per StreetEasy—but Razzacki tells us GM will be assessing plans to expand to other buildings at the end of the year. And even though we've grown a pretty thick skin when it comes to amenity envy, having a private, on-demand, and surprisingly cheap car rental service on-site does seem like a pretty sweet deal. What do you think: Would car access sway you in favor of one building over another, or do you drive so infrequently that it wouldn't tip the scales?


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