On-demand dominates the news, but there are many companies that are catching up with Uber and Lyft tech to carve out business in the high-end ride niche. Here are two.
GroundLink - Black-car service that specializes in scheduled rides for airpot and corporate transit. Offers on-demand rides in NYC, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Boston. Pricing is similar to UberBlack and Black SUV
Blacklane - A professional car service that focuses on pre-arranged airport trips. Pricing is on par with UberBlack and Black SUV. Offers scheduled rides, not on demand
I noticed that GroundLink hires 'independent operators,' so I looked into the driver requirements to see what it takes to join GroundLink. In short, GroundLink is looking for existing commercial drivers who already have the licensing, insurance, and high-end vehicles that a pro livery drivers would need to operate. The benefit to drivers or fleet owners is joining a network that provides jobs and an app interface to accept and rides and collect payment.
Who are these services for? When would you use them instead of Uber or Lyft? Based on the pricing (generally several times more expensive than Uber or Lyft), these services are intended for corporate travelers, or those who want to pay extra for a nicer ride and a true scheduling feature.
I used GroundLink while traveling abroad. I needed to catch a 3am ride to a 6am international flight, and I was NOT going to leave that ride up to chance -- I've had Uber drivers decline long trips to the airport in the past. So I paid a little extra to schedule a ride days in advance and get contact info of the driver far ahead of time.