GM, Lyft launch car rental program for drivers

General Motors and Lyft on Tuesday unveiled a joint car rental service for drivers, a move aimed at boosting the number of vehicles available for the ridesharing rival to Uber.

The companies said the program to be offered in Chicago this month and several other US cities later this year aims to help those who want to drive for Lyft but lack an adequate .

"We're making sure everyone who wants to be a Lyft driver can be, by providing ultimate flexibility at incredible rates," said Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer in a statement.

Lyft said that in Chicago alone, it had received 60,000 applications from people who wanted to drive for the ridesharing service but who did not have a suitable car.

Under the program called Express Drive, the will get a free rental if they give at least 65 rides a week. The cost will be $99 a week for those giving at least 40 rides, and $99 plus a mileage charge for others.

Insurance and maintenance are included in the cost, and the drivers will be able to use the vehicles for personal use at 20 cents per mile.

GM and Lyft earlier this year unveiled a strategic partnership, with a long-term goal to develop an on-demand network of autonomous vehicles. GM invested $500 million in the service.

Lyft is one of the chief competitors in the US market against ridesharing titan Uber, and recently announced a tie-up with China's Didi Kuaidi that helps its global efforts.

GM this year unveiled plans for a short-term car rental under a new "personal mobility" brand known as Maven, competing with services such as Zipcar.

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© 2016 AFP

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