Alto Rides is a different ride-hailing company based on the principles of safety, consistency and hospitality. Its service is deployed in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and is quickly expanding to other parts of the U.S. CEO, Will Coleman, explains how he plans to take the country by storm.
The New Black Car is White
All Alto Rides’ vehicles are white. The colour white was a decision by the company to differentiate itself from other ride companies that refer to their black cars as the highest level of service, says Coleman.
“We are bringing a new model focused on care combined with consistency and ease of use for quality rides. Plus, white vehicles are easier to clean and maintain,” says Coleman, “We have a level of professionalism that our competitors can’t do.”
“We want to deliver a service for people with luxury expectations. You do that with consistent quality. Like a hotel, if you visit a hotel in a chain – they are all consistent. Other ride companies are more like Airbnb – they are very inconsistent. You get what you get,” adds Coleman.
Everybody has a rideshare horror story that is because of inconsistency, the experience is under the control of the driver, says Coleman.
Driving Driver Safety
At Alto Rides, there is a dedicated staff to maintain and keep the vehicle safe in between rides with maintenance and cleaning. Drivers are employees. For consistency, the drivers are monitored through cloud video. All drivers have to pass background checks and drug tests.
“We control what happens so there is a higher consistency,” says Coleman.
Drivers are not haunted by inconsistent problems such as increased fuel prices or vehicle repairs. Other ride platforms tend to necessitate the gamification of algorithms for the drivers, says Coleman.
With drivers as employees, they are not taking risks. If a driver has to fix a transmission, then they stop making money for a week and have to pay for the repair.
Alto Rides provides an hourly rate, medical, dental, social security and workers comp. The drivers take none of the risks, says Coleman.
“My favourite part of my job is creating opportunities for drivers with a consistent compelling service,” says Coleman. So far, Alto Rides has created 500 new jobs.
Smells Like Alto Rides
Another feature of Alto Rides is consistent pricing. “We do not engage in surge pricing. Often our rides can be the cheapest on the market and can be half the price of a black ride service,” says Coleman.
The vehicles are consistent, too. They are all midsize SUV models – Buick Enclave, Volkswagen Atlas or Cadillac CTX6. The SUVs can fit four people in full-size seats and luggage for things like dates or trips. Since pets are members of the family, they are welcome, says Coleman.
The seats are captain seats in the vehicles with customised sound, lights and an Alto Rides’ scent leading a rider to comment on Twitter, “Alto smells better than Uber.”
The unique scent Coleman described as having a touch of cardamom and a twist of orange peel. Included in the ride are bottled water, umbrellas, in-vehicle Wi-Fi and a charging cable.
The pandemic provided new opportunities for Alto Rides.
“During 2020, the pandemic had a huge impact on the business. We did identify new services during the pandemic including delivery service and transportation for business-to-business services such as hotels, medical facilities and providing safe rides for essential businesses,” says Coleman.
After the worst was over, Alto Rides came back fast, Coleman says, with new cleaner service.
“All the workers are provided PPE, masks and gloves. HEPA filters were added to the vehicles. There is a custom plexiglass screen between the driver and the passengers,” says Coleman.
Plus, vehicles are sanitized with EPA-approved solutions and drivers clean surfaces between rides.
“We encourage vaccination, with paying our drivers a bonus and paid time off. Our priority is protecting our employees and our customers. We follow local mask mandates and health codes,” says Coleman.
“Because we own the vehicles, we can make transportation electrified faster.”
The company started in Dallas and is expanded to Houston and Los Angeles.
“We started in Dallas because Dallas is a very average city. It is a use case for the metrics as far as commute times, destinations and airport distance – making it a model for the rest of the country. We wanted to provide a model to prove that it is possible and it is our business model,” says Coleman.
In June, the company announced $45M Series B financing through Tuesday Capital and Goff Capital with Franklin Templeton, Alumni Ventures Group, Senterra, Green Park & Golf Ventures, and Hope Ventures Capital.
Alto Rides recently expanded to Miami, Florida. Coleman did not say where Alto launches next. However, the Alto Rides website links to career openings available in San Francisco and Washington D.C.
Alto Rides will be electrifying its fleet quickly.
“Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and ride-hailing. Because we own the vehicles, we can make transportation electrified faster. And we can invest in the charging infrastructure to support fleets that drive hundreds of miles a day,” says Coleman, who is waiting for the right electric vehicles that can be easily maintained and repaired. He predicts the company can be 100% electric by 2023.
“Miami launched in September. It created huge traction that was very similar to Los Angeles. People like the product. The product fits the market strongly,” says Coleman.
Coleman sums up Alto Rides is based on three words: safety, consistency and hospitality.
“We want to become the most trusted, safe and respected brand in mobility by delivering a highly desirable product to customers and drivers. We are taking the U.S. by storm,” concludes Coleman.