A while ago, I was walking in downtown Vancouver when I saw a limousine driver waiting for his customer. He was wearing a shiny suit and I complimented him on it and we started chatting. At the end of the conversation he gave me his business card and said “if you are looking for a limousine, give me a call.”
It made me wonder, is that how we book limousines? Soon after, I purposely started looking around for them and started chatting with the drivers and each one gave me his business card. Over a couple of weeks, I had accumulated dozens of limousine company business cards. I was also told that a lot of bookings come through Google Search and each company spends quite a bit of money on Google Adwords where prime keywords could cost in the range of $6-15. Despite this business being very tech agnostic, they all know what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) means. However, Google only shows the top 10 results based on SEO and for companies who have a really good service or website, they might never make it to the first page of Google.
Current customer booking process
From the customer side, we recognized the process for booking a limousine involved conducting a search on Google and calling the top 3 – 5 results (mostly ads) and each ad they click, costs on average about $8. They call multiple companies because they want rate comparison and availability. High level, a customer makes 4 calls and spends $32 of providers to save maybe $5-10. Even after booking a ride, the customer would not know which vehicle will be coming to pick them up (providers always double book, so they cannot confirm on the exact vehicle at the time of booking). The rates across limousine companies are very consistent because of the minimum rate established by the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) in Metro Vancouver. Plus, in Uber’s time, why would I bother calling other companies? To be clear, Uber or any other ride-hailing/sharing companies are not operational in British Columbia.
Inception of Ryde Today
Our goal is to give customers the choice, flexibility and convenience of either booking a limousine, luxury sedan or party bus in Metro Vancouver. We want to offer a unified platform for limousine companies to send their rates to customer trip requests based on their availability. This way, companies who have really good ratings and service will end up getting the trip. This will help other companies to improve their quality of service.
You can learn more about how the Ryde Today app works and make your next limousine, luxury sedan or party bus booking with us.