By Scott Beyer : forbes – excerpt
San Francisco has become a hotbed for private bus startups, with several smart-phone-oriented services sprouting up in America’s tech capital, including Night School, Leap, Loup, UberPool and Chariot. But given the industry’s infant stages–and the regulatory hell of operating in California–several services have folded, while only one has really stuck. It is Chariot, a bare-bones vanpool company that may prove to be an industry model…
Chariot provides rudimentary vans that get from point A to B. This means that average rides cost only $2.50–compared to the $2.25 MUNI fare, and the $6 Leap fare–and monthly passes cost $93. The service, according to its site, has a 97% on-time rating, compared to 57% for MUNI.
“At the end of the day, a commuter wants to get to work quickly, reliably and affordably,” said Vahabzadeh. “Everything else is a distraction.”
His notion should be applicable to private bus entrepreneurs in other cities. Most commuters may not want luxury rides, per se, but a service that costs about the same as the public option, while performing far better… (more)
Customer service is priceless.