The Importance of Ground Transportation in Your Corporate Travel Policy

 

 

The Covid-19 global pandemic highlights the importance of good travel data when it comes to risk management. Airline & accommodation data is typically available through the online booking engines providing critical information such as flight numbers and hotel locations. Data for ground transportation is much more limited, if it exists at all, as many business travellers make their own arrangements independently.

Historically, travel policy has often omitted ground transportation, but as organisations prepare to resume business travel in 2021, its inclusion is now more important than ever. How are your employees getting to the airport or business meeting? Has your organisation defined acceptable modes of transport or specified suppliers?

A recent survey by Free-Now in conjunction with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reports that 50% of European Travel Managers, have changed their policy on ground transportation as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, with over 50% reporting they will be less likely to allow or encourage the use of public transport.

Understandably both travel managers and business travellers view safety as of the highest priority (60%). For business travellers convenience rates next (54%) with cost-saving further down the list (25%), whilst travel managers rate traveller satisfaction and cost-saving equally (38%).  

The survey also found that 88% of travel managers are interested in using preferred ground transportation suppliers which have been vetted to ensure they meet safety & sanitation standards, and 79% are interested in tracking data about ground transportation rides (such as destinations & driver names to aid in contact tracing). For UK business travellers the rates are slightly lower, though similar at 77% and 62% respectively.

You can read the full survey report here: https://free-now.com/uk/business/blog/white-paper-ground-transportation-in-europe-adapting-travel-policies-in-a-changing-landscape/

 Our Recommendation

Selecting a preferred supplier(s) for ground transportation helps satisfy the organisational duty of care to protect its employees.  The procurement process enables you to vet and verify vendor safety protocols, not just in terms of pandemic response, but to also consider the broader concerns of passenger safety, such as licensing and insurance.

Formalising arrangements with suppliers will also provide you with clear data about your employee travel, which whilst essential during the pandemic, will help your organisation plan future travel with more clarity.

Additional Benefits

Beyond risk management, selecting a preferred supplier for ground transportation can provide further benefits too, satisfying the priorities for both travel managers and business travellers alike.

  • Save money
  • Streamline processes
  • Set the foundations of relationships with good communication building trust.
  • Convenience and reliability for business travellers

 JRA Chauffeur Drive

We are specialist providers of ground transportation to the business community, tailoring our services to your specific requirements improving productivity across your organisation. We understand the varying priorities of the different stakeholders; comfort & convenience for travellers; ease of booking for administrative staff; health & safety requirements for HR teams; and cost requirements for financial teams;

Get in touch and let us help you integrate ground transportation into your corporate travel policy.

 

 

Looking Ahead To Life After Lockdown

Looking Ahead to Life After Lockdown         

It’s been a year since Covid-19 first hit our shores, but now, finally, there is hope that with the ongoing success of the vaccine rollout, the end may just be in sight.

For now, the Stay At Home rules remain in force, with all but essential services closed, but the UK Government have set out the “roadmap” to ease restrictions in England over the coming months.

Administrations in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland will be publishing their own roadmaps for their respective nations, but are likely to broadly follow a similar plan.

English children are now back in school. But what next?

Phase One (Part Two) – 29th March 2021

Groups of up to 6 people, or two households, will be able to meet outside in social gatherings and not just for exercise. So pop those champagne corks as finally we can arrange picnics & barbeques with people outside of our own household.

Outdoor sports & recreation reopen too. Tennis clubs, golf courses, outdoor basketball, outdoor swimming pools.

Phase Two – Not Before 12th April 2021

Hospitality venues can re-open for outdoor seating only. Groups of 6 or two households will be able to celebrate together in a pub garden! It’s table service only, so no queuing at the bar, but there is no requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by a substantial meal, and normal licensing hours will apply.

Non-Essential retail reopens. Our high streets will hopefully be the thriving places they once were.

Personal Care Salons. To quote Scottish comedian Billy Connolly from his early days, many of us are looking “windswept & interesting” and desperate for the hairdressers & barbers. But it is also the nail bars, beauty salons & spa’s that can open too. Nothing like some personal pampering to lift our spirits.

Indoor Leisure facilities such as Gyms can re-open for personal or household activity. There is a bit longer to wait for group indoor sport & fitness classes.

Community Facilities such as libraries & community centres will be re-opening, although unlikely to be running the full range of activities.

Outdoor attractions, such as zoos & theme parks open for some family fun.

And finally, self-contained holiday accommodation will be available, such as caravan parks & private holiday lets. Communal facilities will however remain closed.

Phase Three – Not Before 17th May 2021

Groups of up to 6 people, or two households, will be able to meet indoors, and groups of up to 30 people will be able to meet outdoors.

Pubs & Restaurants will be finally re-opening their doors for indoor table service.

Indoor Entertainment Venues such as museums, cinemas and children’s play areas open, although overall capacity may still be limited, so pre-booking will almost certainly be essential.

Domestic holiday accommodation – UK hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and hostels open allowing us to book that much needed holiday. There are amazing destinations right here in the UK, offering something for everyone and the UK tourism industry is looking forward to welcoming us back. Need some inspiration? The official UK tourism website has plenty of ideas. www.visitbritain.com

Indoor group sport and exercise classes resume. Time to burn off those lockdown pounds!

Commemorative Events – such as weddings & funerals can now have 30 people attend.

Large Events such as conferences, sporting events, theatres and concert performances resume but with restricted entry numbers. The number of attendees is determined by overall capacity:

  • Indoor 50% of venue capacity up to a maximum of 1000 people in total.
  • Outdoor (standing) 50% of venue capacity up to a maximum of 4000 people in total.
  • Outdoor (seated) 25% of venue capacity up to a maximum of 10000 people in total.

 Phase Four – Not Before 21st June 2021

The Government hope to remove all limits on social contact. It is likely that the key message of Hands, Face, Space will remain. Face coverings are likely to still be mandatory in public settings, and we will be encouraged to continue with hand sanitisation and keep our distance where possible.

All remaining closed settings open, including nightclubs.

All limits removed on commemorative events such as Weddings & Funerals.

Capacity restrictions for larger events may be removed.

 Just one caveat…

Of course we all hope that the vaccines continue to prove effective not just in preventing serious illness, but also in slowing transmission, and the rollout here and around the globe continues to march on at pace.

The dates shown are likely, but by no means guaranteed. We may still see some bumps in the road ahead, but we can at least begin to make tentative plans for life after lockdown.

Whatever your plans for the rest of 2021, Stay Safe, & don’t forget to book your travel with JRA Chauffeur Drive

 

 

 

Need a Taxi? How to choose the right service for you

Need a Taxi? How to choose the right service for you.

 The dictionary definition of Taxi is “a motor vehicle licensed to transport passengers in return for payment of a fare” We all know what is meant by taxi, Or do we? Are all taxis the same?

If you are looking to book a car to take you from A to B, there are three main options available to you, and this article aims to explain the key differences, and how to choose between them.

 

Ride-Hailing Apps 

The disrupter to the industry, ride hailing apps first arrived in the UK in 2012. Operating typically in city centres but expanding all the time. Apps offer easy booking and convenience, ideal when booking for a single journey. On the downside, like many businesses which operate wholly online, customer service can be seriously lacking.

The important point to note with Ride-Hailing Apps, is that they are essentially booking platforms, connecting passengers to independent owner/drivers. The platform operators have a responsibility to ensure that all those who sign up to provide services are appropriately licensed and adequately insured.

 

Hackney Carriage

The official term for Taxis. Only operators licensed for Hackney Carriage can wait for passengers on UK taxi ranks or be hailed in the street. All vehicles must be liveried (ie. have lit “taxi” signage). Typically operating within a local area, and with vehicles always on the road, they provide a cost effective solution when travelling short distances or at short notice.

Fares are typically charged according to the meter, with rates being determined by the operators local licensing authority. Whilst there is a base rate for travel, higher rates apply when travelling at night, or on Sundays and bank holidays. Watch out too for extra supplements for more than one passenger, and even for travelling with luggage!

Payment is typically by cash to the driver, although with the arrival of Covid-19 many operators do now accept card payments too. Account facilities may be offered for regular travellers, but many operators will add a 10% surcharge for account payments.

 

Private Hire

The Private Hire Operator Licence covers a broad range of service providers, who are not Hackney Carriage. Private Hire vehicles are not authorised to wait in taxi ranks, and all rides must be pre-booked.

Tier 1 - Ride-Hailing Apps are actually licensed as private hire operators.

Tier 2 - Minicabs (often advertised as Taxi or Cabs) The services provided are very similar to those provided by Hackney Carriage, accommodating both short hops and longer journeys. Fares are determined by the operator, and account facilities are generally available.

Tier 3 – Executive Car / Chauffeur

Executive Car & Chauffeur operators provide the same general services as tier 2 operators, but have a greater focus on customer service, providing discretion and comfort for passengers. Fleets are of a higher specification typically being Mercedes, Audi & BMW.

The term ‘chauffeur’ creates an image that services are only provided to high wealth individuals and/or those with celebrity status, with fares to match. The reality is different. Chauffeur operators provide reliability and flexibility particularly important for the business traveller, and for those with non-standard journey requirements. Whilst certainly not the lowest fare option, the price differential is smaller than many anticipate.

 

Summary

So next time you need a car to take you from A to B, consider your priorities.

Is cost the sole determining factor? Do you want to know in advance exactly what you will pay? Is your journey time critical or likely to change? Are you ok with a box on wheels or are you looking for more comfort? Are you booking in advance or do you need a pick up now?

How you answer these questions will determine which type of service will best suit your needs.

 

 

 

Where will your roadmap take you?

It’s ironic how our favourite travel words have become metaphors for positivity during a year when restrictions have prevented us from travelling.

Destination - vision for the future success of our business.
Journey - a period of personal growth.
Roadmap - our route out of a difficult year.

With a hint that travel may soon be allowable again, which destinations will you journey to? Will you plan your roadmap meticulously or wing it once you set off?

There are many tools to help you plan your route, some with journey times too, but shown in real time (almost), based on current traffic. Not helpful if planning on Sunday ready for Monday morning!

You can be flexible when visiting family & friends, but what if you’re visiting a prospective client? Being late will damage your business reputation. Heading to the airport? the plane won’t wait for you.

At JRA Chauffeur Drive we remove the guesswork. Yes, we use an array of planning tools, but combining this with over 25 years of experience, we will get you where you need to be, when you need to be there.

Our fares are based on mileage, and fixed in advance, irrespective of whether you are travelling at peak times, so get in touch now, and let us help you plan your next trip.

 

New Look for JRA

For over 25 years John A Ray & Associates have been providing five-star chauffeur services for discerning business and private travellers, building an unmatched reputation for reliability and professionalism.

We are thrilled to announce an exciting new phase in our journey, as we rebrand as JRA Chauffeur Drive, complete with a new look for our business.

Our traditions and values remain at the heart of everything we do, but with our new brand, and vision for the future we are looking forward to keeping our clients moving for the next 25 years and beyond.

But rest assured, no matter how much the world of executive travel changes, exemplary, professional, friendly service will always be our core value.

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