- Mobility services platform Bestmile announced it will partner with ride-hailing company Alto to launch a new ride-hailing service in Dallas, according to a company press release.
- Alto says it is "filling a significant gap in the mobility market" by providing a monthly membership service in which a user is picked up by a professional driver using a vehicle from a dedicated fleet, and can personalize everything from the music to the temperature in the car.
- Bestmile's Mobility Services Platform allows Alto to "monitor and manage service performance and KPIs" to optimize pick-up and wait times, routing, vehicle utilization and overall fleet service. "We built this kind of solution with the fleet in mind," Bestmile CEO Raphael Gindrat told Smart Cities Dive.
As companies such as Uber and Lyft work to dominate the shared mobility industry, it is critical for new businesses coming online to differentiate their services in order to compete. With this unique business model, Alto and Bestmile are working to not only improve the ride-hailing experience through service optimization, but to also build a dedicated following and rider network through its membership model. And while this sense of exclusivity is not for everyone, especially folks who infrequently use ride-hailing options to get around, it may attract a rider demographic that was previously untapped in the Dallas market.
Other companies including Maven and ReachNow have approached the ride-hailing industry with similar services that give riders more options for customizing their rides. ReachNow in particular has enhanced transportation options in Seattle with its service that allows users to select one of two options: the "Drive" option, which allows members to pay by the minute, hour or day for a personal car that they can drive themselves, or the "Ride" option, which allows members to select an on-demand or scheduled pick-up option from a personal driver.
When asked how Alto selects drivers, or Alto Ambassadors, the company's Driver Operation Manager Kevin Callahan told Smart Cities Dive it has "incredibly high" standards. "We incentivize our team with consistent pay, PTO, insurance, and overtime benefits. Because of this, we are recruiting from a pool of service-oriented professionals that other on-demand services can't reach," he said in an email.
"Referrals are big, and we are tapping employment agencies and HR groups to get started in Dallas. Our interview process is focused on honest, stable, consumer oriented candidates motivated to create the best journey possible for our members," Callahan said.