Friends, Colleagues, Passengers and Partners,
As mentioned in my last blog, we follow 3 guiding principles of respect, safety and awesome technology, which we use as our “North Star” at asterRIDE. This allows our team to be aligned and to avoid confusion on our areas of focus.
In this blog, I will be continuing to build on our first guiding principle; respecting and valuing our passengers. Previously, our last blog focused on valuing our Chauffeurs and why they are so important as they are the face of our service to our passengers (read more here: Last Post).
“It Takes Two” in this business. It gets awfully lonely without passengers I must say and our passengers must have chauffeurs to get around town. Our current and prospective passengers value quality, safe and reliable transportation at cost effective fares.
The passengers and their booking agents (corporate, travel agents, event planners, etc.) quest for quality transportation is not easy. There are great providers like the partners of asterRIDE and there a lot of wannabe transportation providers today with the advent of the latest ridesharing apps. These are personal cars driven by untrained drivers with loose background checks. In comparison with traditional providers, most of these drivers do not understand how to navigate the roads of the city they work in; and additionally, most do not carry sufficient, if any, commercial insurance compared to professional chauffeurs. All asterRIDE chauffeurs are required to hold current commercial insurance meeting the minimum amounts required by the county or city governing authority.
On top of this, many of these same drivers do not have finger printed, nationwide background checks. There is a lot of phony stories that nationwide, finger printed background checks are not effective. This is pure FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt) created by those worried about the insurability of those same drivers. They are required in this business. Even David Capeless of the Massachusetts Attorney’s association states that “We see no reason why the public should have fewer safeguards when they are interacting with UBER and other companies than they would with more traditional transportation companies…” AsterRIDE requires all of its drivers to have a full background check (fingerprinted, nationwide).
Transporting passengers safely is absolutely one of the most responsible duties a transportation service provider is expected to do. I invite you to look at the Who’s Driving You? Awareness campaign –www.whosdrivingyou.org. Take a look at the high count of offenses and legal issues ranging from sexual assaults, adult kidnapping, drivers driving drunk, etc. by the top ridesharing / TNC companies. Of course a good driver could turn bad, but on average these drivers would not be on the road had the proper background check occurred. France, Spain and Korea, to name a few, have already banned UBER from operating in their countries due in some part for their improper background checks and operations.
AsterRIDE takes safety to the next level with instaALERT™. instaALERT™ is a passenger’s guardian angel providing passenger safety notifications to their loved ones and/or friends of their ride status and location.
In addition, not only do we ensure our passengers are stepping into a vehicle with a properly vetted chauffeur and insured vehicle, we make sure they are the best. Each of our chauffeurs are professionally trained by the limousine company they work for and are vetted by our team of representatives. These chauffeurs understand the nuances of handling passengers and navigating the roads. This is their profession and they take great pride in their work.
Of course, reliable transportation is just as important as the quality characteristics desired by passengers. No one likes to be late for a meeting or for their upcoming flight. Our chauffeurs are trained to show up early and to communicate effectively with our passengers on their status. Our technology provides step by step communication to both of our passengers and their drivers who will be transporting them.
Our passengers like to secure their transportation at all times of the day and can do so by scheduling their rides in advance. Most app based transportation apps (the big players) can’t handle this.
Passengers can also now select their Preferred Driver. We know that our passengers are human and may like to play favorites. We get this so we make this available to them.
We also respect our passengers’ wallets. AsterRIDE believes in being transparent with our pricing and provides clear rate cards by vehicle and market. However, the biggest issue facing passengers in this new ridesharing / ride hailing app market is the practice of surge pricing.
This new practice of surge pricing (dynamic pricing introduced and led by UBER) for raising fares during peak times (like when it is raining or when an accident occurs) has caused many passengers to be frustrated and even seeking help from crowd funding websites to pay for their ridiculous fares. During the 2016 New Year’s celebration, some fares reported from the community ranged from $900-$2,600 that were normally around $70 to $150 per trip. This is quite a hit for the common person.
AsterRIDE does NOT engage in surge pricing. This is seen as taking advantage of the passenger during busy times. Our chauffeurs are okay to drive during the Super Bowl, on a rainy day or during rush hour. As reported by the CronkiteNews, this is why Anthony uses asterRIDE: “I use asterRIDE because it is commercially insured, and I will be protected if anything happen.” And he adds, “especially late or when a lot is going on, I definitely use asterRIDE because they don’t surge charge.”
Please support asterRIDE and the team. You are welcome to join if you are a chauffeur or run a chauffeur company. If you happen to need a ride, please download our app and book a ride with us. See the experience that our passengers get from our awesome chauffeurs.
Seth and the asterRIDE team
Download our app today from the AppStore or PlayStore