GETAROUND LAUNCHES IN BERKELEY Car-sharing service Getaround, described as Airbnb for cars, has just launched in Berkeley. A peer-to-peer car sharing company based in San Francisco, Getaround says it has been building up a community in Berkeley for the past few weeks and has had a great response. “We have close to 100 owners sharing their cars in Berkeley and Oakland and close to 10,000 renters,” said spokeswoman Hailley Griffis. Like Airbnb, Getaround works through its app: if you’re looking to use a car, you search for one nearby, enter your license and credit card numbers, and, once you’ve found it, book and unlock the car with your phone. (The car key will be waiting for you in the visor.) Sign-up is free, with no monthly or annual fees and all rentals include insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance. Typical charges might be $5.50 an hour for a 2008 Smart Car, $7 an hour for a 2014 Toyota Prius, or $20 an hour for a 2012 Model S Tesla. Cars are vetted before being accepted into the service, and renters can rate cars (the ability for car owners to rate renters is coming, said Griffis). Getaround says car owners make an average of $500/month sharing their car, and that the service will result in fewer cars on Berkeley streets, as studies have shown that each shared car takes 10-13 cars off the road. Visit Getaround’s website for details. Connect with them on Facebook. (more…)
COMING SOON: MSC CUSTOMS Manhattan’s MSC Customs bicycle and apparel company has opened its first West Coast shop at 2422 Telegraph Ave. The company assembles and sells made-to-order single-speed track bikes. They’re custom-made, meaning customers get to select a variety of trendy pastel and neon shades for the frames, tires, and rims. MSC Customs’ new clothing line is designed for cyclists, so it’s entirely reflective. This is the company’s second location. “We thought the West Coast would be a great move,” said co-owner Thomas Leong. “Berkeley is a great place for riders.” The store soft-opened on Thursday last week and its official opening is Saturday, Nov. 22. And curious shoppers can drop by a grand opening party the day before. Read more at the MSC website. [Hat tip: Ted Friedman] (more…)
OLD YAK BAZAAR A new fair-trade store is coming to town this fall. Old Yak Bazaar, self-described as an alternative trading company, sells up-cycled handcrafted designs from artisans around the world. Upcycling, for those that may not have heard the term before, is a process where low-value materials are converted into higher-quality products. These products include bags, home decor, jewelry, scarves and toys. The company is based out of Minneapolis and operates an online shop. It’s still unclear when and where in Berkeley the new place will open, but details should be made available next month when the lease is confirmed, according to co-owner Wen-Yan King. (more…)
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