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Product, Service & Design Innovation
Project 100 Brings Classy Car-Sharing to Downtown Las Vegas

In an effort to reduce area residents’ need for vehicle ownership within a very car-dependent city, Las Vegas is getting a high-class car-sharing service. As part of his Downtown Project, aimed at revitalizing the structure and culture of downtown Las Vegas, Zappos founder Tony Hsieh is launching the latest component of the project, a vehicle-sharing service called Project 100.

The business model is pretty simple. A fleet of more than 100 cars and on-demand drivers, more than 100 bicycles and a healthy number of shuttle stops make this a fully inclusive transportation system. However, this isn’t your average vehicle-sharing service. Those 100 cars are electric-powered luxury sedans — the Tesla Model S. The regular shuttle system is actually a party bus. And the bicycles are just bicycles.

Project 100 describes itself the most simply. “The experience is simple: Open an app so we know where you are and tell us what zone you want to travel to. With that information we’ll give you a set of options, for example, 1 — Be picked up by a driver in a Tesla in 3 minutes, 2 — Drive yourself in a low-range electric vehicle that’s 0.2 miles away, 3 — Grab a bike that’s 0.1 miles away or 4 — Hop on the party bus that will be near you in 4 minutes.”

Las Vegas, a city that wears its excess in food, waste, and immorality on its sleeve, might seem like a strange choice for an eco-conscious car-sharing service. Tesla was specifically chosen as the car brand of choice for its combination of cool and environmental efficiency. However, the goal of the Downtown Project is to "help transform Downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world" and the idea of affordable luxury is consistent with the Las Vegas brand. Having a private driver might be useful for the partying set and a hop-on, hop-off party bus sounds like an even better way to travel.

Hsieh has described his ultimate goal to “increase collisions between people” and make everyone more invested in their community. But with a subscription price of about $400 per month (what Tesla calculates to be the average cost of car payments and insurance), I wonder how many people will actually be colliding. The popularity of the bicycles could nosedive during summer days when it is far too hot or at night when people are intoxicated. But if anyone can make this outlandish car-sharing service work, I’m placing my bets on Hsieh.


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