New Rideshare Eyes Leasing Program for Drivers

Zemcar, a new safety-first rideshare service, is “in discussions” with major automakers to create flexible leasing options for drivers, similar to Uber’s deal with Toyota Financial Services, Zemcar’s Founder and Chief Executive Bilal Khan told Mobility Buzz.

Zemcar specializes in safety for riders under 18 by prioritizing the screening, training, and interviewing of all drivers for additional safety. The Boston-based company has been operating a soft launch since April 2016, and — as of Monday — is officially available, in the neighborhoods of Brookline, Chestnut Hill, and Jamaica Plain within Greater Boston.

Long term, Zemcar plans to offer a program that would allow car purchasers to cover their lease payments through earnings generated as Zemcar drivers. However, Zemcar’s program will be different from Uber’s offering, Khan said. “A key thing to understand about our model is we are more focused on scheduled rides, rather than on-demand,” he said.

The startup bills itself as a door-to-door rideshare, meaning that a person can reserve a car ahead of time, drivers will escort passengers to and from the front door, and carry their belongings as well, said Lisa Eisenbud, Zemcar’s chief engagement officer.

The leasing program is expected to be formed by yearend.

This article was written by Emma Sandler and Natalie Mattila.

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