Luxury Coach & Transportation

July 2016

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 15 of 95

14 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JULY 2016 WWW.LCTMAG.COM A look at people, products, events and milestones in the world of chauffeured and charter bus transportation. FOR MORE NEWS GO TO LCTMAG.COM AND FIND LATE BREAKING E-NEWS AND BLOGS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY. LimoScene 07.16 TOP STORIES GroundLink Follows All The Chauffeured Virtues N EW YORK — With all the complaints about Uber and its contempt for regulations, a growing tech-enabled car ser- vice called GroundLink shows how to properly run a profes- sional ride app. GroundLink would be an apt tutor to Uber on some of the fner points of tech-based, high-end chauffeured service. Since 2011, GroundLink has operated as a provider of "near-demand" execu- tive black car service in major cities worldwide, offering an on-time guar- antee, professional chauffeurs who are background checked and licensed, client duty of care, and late-model luxury ve- hicles insured at limousine industry lev- els. To underscore its fexibility, Ground- Link takes bookings via its iPhone and Android apps, its website groundlink. com, and a 24/7 customer call center. The chauffeurs, many of them owners of limousine services, work as inde- pendent affliates to GroundLink, often supplementing their locally gener- ated client revenue. CEO Liz Carisone describes the company as a "hybrid model," meaning the company combines the technology of newer transportation network companies (TNCs) with the safety and reliability of more traditional chauffeured operations. "We deploy service and safety and technology," Carisone said. "We offer competitive pricing to Uber Black, but have fully vetted drivers and overarching insurance coverage. When booking, we provide blanket security." GroundLink includes 550 partners spread across 110 nations worldwide with a vehicle network of 10,000+. (An exact fgure on the number of cities Groundlink serves was unavailable). Its holding company, GroundLink Hold- ings LLC, is owned by a private equity frm, Comvest. As with TNCs, GroundLink clients can track their vehicles before pickup. All tracking, communications, and billing are electronic. GroundLink is supported by one of the limousine industry's leading software and app pro- viders, LimoAnywhere, which handles GroundLink's GPS tracking and all information for its affliates. Background Checks GroundLink relies on a thorough pro- cess to vet and approve all chauffeurs and vehicles. For chauffeurs, the com- pany does background checks, includ- ing fngerprinting where required and/ or available, as well as licensing and in- surance verifcations. All chauffeurs are evaluated based on client feedback, and the company immediately follows up on any service violations or failures. "We have strict standards and keep full records," Carisone said. "We do onsite auditing based on complaints and feedback, and do mystery (riding) as well. Because we operate in (110) coun- tries, and the industry is not universally regulated the same way, we take care to follow the rules in each country." All Classed Up In the U.S., black-on-black feet vehicles correspond with service tiers including: By Martin Romjue, LCT editor The tech-driven global black vehicle service gets it right where TNCs go wrong. Since joining the company in 2012, GroundLink CEO Liz Carisone leads improvements for the global chauffeured app, such as offering customer innovations in mobile apps, web and call center service; scaling the company's infrastructure to allow seamless bookings, rides, and billing for cus- tomers; and leading duty-of-care and safety standards. She previously was CFO of Kroll Consult- ing Services, a global provider of risk management services and CFO of London-based Gullivers Travel Associations, a provider of global travel products and services. FASTFACTS GROUNDLINK FOUNDED: 2003 HEADQUARTERS: New York COUNTRIES SERVED: 110 AFFILIATES/MEMBER COMPANIES: 550 VEHICLE NETWORK: about 10,000 EMPLOYEES: 160 CLIENT MIX: 60% business / 40% consumer GPS PARTNER: Limo Anywhere EXECUTIVE TEAM: Liz Carisone, CEO; Michael Moo- radian, chief sales offcer; Senthil Venkataraman, chief strategy offcer; Petar Dordevic, VP of IT engineering. PROMOTIONAL PARTNERS: United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton Grand Vacations, and Expedia. WEBSITE: 24/7 CUSTOMER SERVICE: (855) 463-7150

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