Car & Limousine Services 101
Okay… So you just realized that you need to hire a car, stretch limo, SUV, van or bus service for that upcoming airport transfer, road-show, birthday party, wedding, bachelor’s party, doctor’s appointment, etc… But you are new in town, just visiting or don’t have a regular company you’ve used before. Where to start??? Well, first you will have to decide what type of service/vehicle better fits your needs.
- Public Transportation
- Shared Shuttles
- Medallion Taxi Cab
- Radio Dispatched neighborhood car service
- Black Car
- Luxury car & limousine service
- Corporate dedicated car service
Example: You could get to/from LaGuardia airport from anywhere in NYC, The Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn for the cost of a regular fare ($2.50/pp at the time of this writing). The downside is that if you are traveling with luggage, you will have to manage dragging your piece(s) of luggage while performing bus/train transfers. There is also the possibility of traveling with small children, elderly or disable companion which will somewhat stress you a bit. In top of this, there is the timing factor. Public transportation could really add considerable travel time due to multiple stops and route delays cause by holiday schedule, off-peak hours and routing traffic.
Hub to Hub service
This type of service requires that you and your party must be at a specific location at a specific time in order to use the service. Hub to Hub service will take you from a pre-determined point A to a pre-determined point B making pre-determined stops along the way (an example of Hub to Hub service will be Greyhound, where you will be picked up/Dropped-off at their stations which will require that you find a way to get to and from their stations by other means of transportation). Reservations are not usually required but if you do reserve, it will guarantee you a seat in most cases.
Door to door service
This type of service as the title self describes, will pick you up at your home/office address and take you to a major city or airport while making stops along the way to pickup and drop-off other passengers in-route (In advance reservations are required for this type of shared shuttle service). Shared shuttle services are priced in a per person basis and usually the vehicle type is a 10 passenger van. If just one or two passengers, you will find this option to be more cost effective than hiring a taxi or car/limo service. In the other hand, if 3 or more passengers, you will find that your best option will be a taxi or car/limo service taking in consideration the private door to door and non-stop service difference.
- Shared Shuttles
- Medallion Taxi Cabs
- Radio Dispatched pricing
- Black Car Groups
- Luxury Car & Limousine Service
- Corporate dedicated car pricing
With shared shuttles, you pay on a “per passenger” basis. If a van is able to transport 10 passengers from JFK to Greenwich, CT at a rate of $35/pp, the total gross income will be $350.00 for the shuttle company (For Example: a commercial airliner is a hub to hub air shuttle. Let’s say you pay a one way fare of $300.00/pp to get from LAX to JFK and the plane is carrying 135 passengers and everyone paid the same as you. With this example, the airline will have a gross income of $40,500.00 for this leg. Now…. how much do you think it will cost to charter a small size jet (let’s say for 10 passengers) for the same route??? Somewhere around $25,000.00!). Gratuity is optional.
Taxi cabs run on a meter which is activated as you enter the taxi. At time of activation, the meter will start with the minimum pre-set fare set by local regulating agencies (usually $2.50 or $3.00 depending city/state) and the charge you $0.50 cents per 1/5 of a mile (Sample: NYC Taxi Cab Rates)
A) Company’s owner paying attention to details.
B) He/she used a very good website designer . Nevertheless, detailed service content must have come from company owner (unless stolen/copyright infringed).
C) Website content (or whole site) was copied/stolen from another company/competitor (Copyright Infrigement). Now days, some site owners/designers will steal someone else’s work despite of “The Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998” (DCMA).
You should be able to find answers to most of your questions by easily navigating through the website. This information should at least include: area of service, rates, cancellation/no-show policy, service description, fleet listing and payment options. Look for online transparency and disclosure since a company opting to fully disclose rates and policies on its website is usually a good starting point.
If you have less than 72 hours, a contact attempt via telephone is recommended. If you do this option, there are some basic recommendations to follow.
A) If the company has a PBX/announcing system, listen to the greeting/announcing message before choosing the first available option (It’s common to hear “please listen carefully as our option menu has changed”. This is because selecting the wrong option will only delay your call and probably irritate an exhausted operator).
B) Be specific about your needs. Don’t hesitate and ask all questions you might have (especially if you never used the company before). Your questions should include service description, all inclusive fare and cancellation policies. If you think you might be calling back, ask for the representative’s name and direct contact telephone number since most likely there will be no log of your call (that’s unless the company is recording the call for “quality/training” purposes).
C) If you called for a “quote” and you are not ready to book right way, ask the operator if he/she could email it to you as verbal quotes are as good as the paper it was written on (email log in this case scenario).