Business travelers have a higher risk of being injured on the ground than in the air – if they opt for one of the emerging rideshare companies that are now peppering the corporate travel market. That ominous observation came from a BusinessTravelNews article quoting Scott Solombrino, CEO of BostonCoach and Dav El.
Risk of injury or possibly death isn’t the only potential downside of using rideshare services in lieu of traditional ground transportation while traveling. But despite the drawbacks, rideshare services are on the rise, according to BTN’s 2015 Ground Transportation Survey.
While “a handful” of the 158 corporate travel purchasers who responded to the survey said they explicitly prohibit employees from using rideshares, other buyers said the practice was allowed. Approval to use rideshares was either given tacitly or written into corporate policy and then tracked using expense reporting software.
Traditional ground transportation companies typically take numerous precautionary measures to ensure safe travel. These include random drug tests, defensive training, stringent testing and background checks. Their drivers are expected to be properly licensed with required insurance in place.
While some rideshare companies do require background checks, they are often lacking in other areas. Here’s where Solombrino stresses the importance of knowing the type of compliance standards the companies meet before giving employees the nod to use them.
When it comes to cost, survey respondents scored chauffeured suppliers the worst. Due to higher overhead and the cost of meeting stringent regulations, traditional corporations are at a loss competing with rideshares.
The lack of regulation for the companies was a sore point with Solobrino. “Either deregulate all of us or regulate them,” he said, “but they should not be exempt.”
Technology and On-Demand Services
Rideshares also won out across the board when it came to technology and on-demand services. Traditional ground transportation companies scored high in ease of booking, but they are still playing catchup when it comes to mobile and website applications as well as the ability to book rides in advance and hail a tax on the spot.
Overall, 80 percent of the corporate travel purchasers who responded to the BTN survey said traditional chauffeured transportation services had held steady or improved over the previous year. Only 20 percent gave them a thumb’s down for a decline in the quality of service.
Whether you choose rideshares or traditional ground transportation, you can easily keep tabs on ground transportation and all other expenses with Chrome River’s expense management software.
Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.