Times are tough for a lot of people right now, and the rideshare industry has not been immune. In our latest survey, how drivers are responding to the coronavirus, we found that 80% of drivers said demand for rideshare is down. One bright spot? Delivery! Today, we’re talking to a rideshare startup out of Dallas on how it’s staying ahead of the curve.
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If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.
Today I’m talking with Will Coleman of Alto, a ridesharing service based in Dallas, TX
- Their tagline was ‘redefine the rideshare experience’ – until recently
- Going to talk about how coronavirus has changed everything for the industry
- Shout out to another one of my favorite podcasts: Shift, a podcast about mobility
- Podcast is all about mobility and its production
Intro to Will Coleman
- CEO and Founder of Alto, a new ridesharing service based in Dallas, TX
- Former partner at McKinsey, supporting airline, hotel and car rental clients
- Dallas native!
- Started about a year and a half ago, original premise was to elevate the rideshare experience for both passengers and drivers
- Not a technology company – a service company
- Has W-2 Employee drivers
- Product is the ride, the actual experience in the car
- Overall, have more control over the experience and elevate it for passengers and drivers
Alto + Adaptability
- End of February began to see the first number of cases and concern from passengers and drivers
- Began letting passengers know about Alto’s traditional cleaning policies – cars cleaned multiple times a day
- At the same time, started installing HEPA filters in their vehicles
- Provided drivers with gloves, sanitizer, wipes, etc.
- Usage still took a big drop, so pivoted into getting things to customers like delivering food or goods
What the Industry Looks Like Right Now
- Right now, things are at a certain level, but things are changing dramatically even day by day
- It’s a business crisis – need to differentiate with rides, delivery
- Alto offers paid sick time and family leave for drivers – need customers to know Alto is different, takes driver and passenger health seriously
- Pivot to delivery – taking cleanliness, hygiene and safety just as seriously for delivery as they do rideshare
The True Cost of Rideshare
- Alto will take a hit on revenue because when ridership declines, so does revenue
- Uber not exactly dealing with the same thing – able to outsource costs by calling drivers ‘independent contractors’
- Companies should have to pay the true cost of doing business – consumers do too
- Alto will be a part of tomorrow and hopes to continue the conversation/debate about the true cost of rideshare
- Big thanks to Will for coming on the podcast – perfect opportunity to highlight their model and how they’ve adapted in the face of the coronavirus
- Like to highlight the positive stories, people making the best out of bad situations
- A lot of business lessons you can learn from this episode – make sure to listen to the full episode!