New Phoenix hail-a-ride service is hyper-focused on safety

Happy hour is over, you’ve had a few and it’s time to call a ride. In Arizona, more ride services are expanding to the Valley and competing for your business.
AsterRide, a hail-a-ride service that recently launched in Phoenix, aims to distinguish themselves from the masses by offering a larger selection of vehicles, advanced booking, no surge pricing and embedded safety features.
CEO AsterRide, Seth Rudin said their company is hyper-focused on giving passengers, especially female customers, a peace of mind about their safety when getting into one of their vehicles, and respecting their wallet.
While the app functions similar to UBER with hailing, tracking and electronic payment, the company added InstaAlert, their own passenger monitor tracking safety feature.
The alert was added because “all of our female friends were texting their friends to tell them they were getting into a black car or taxi with a stranger,” Rudin said.
Through InstaAlert, passengers have the option for the app to automatically send push notification to their designated contact(s) via text or email about the car (license and registration), driver and ride status. Recipients can also track the ride in real-time through their smartphone. At the end of the ride the passenger is prompted to confirm arrival at the destination. If time goes by and the passenger doesn’t check in, the app will automatically send a text to the receiver asking to check-in with the passenger.
Rudin said they partner with established local transportation services to offer an expanded fleet line, and instead of serge pricing they have a booking and customer service fee.
“We don’t surge. We respect the wallets of our customers,” Rudin said.
While Phoenix is a noisy space for ride and taxi services, AsterRide is ready to compete with their quality service and focus on safety.
“We want to ensure that our drivers transfer the passenger safety. This is someone’s daughter, son, or wife, and [the driver] has a role to transfer someone’s [family member] safely,” Rudin said.
Phoenix was the first launch city for AsterRide. Rudin said they decided on the Valley because of the high volume of seasonal visitors attending large events such as Phoenix Open, Super Bowl and Spring Training, and their operators were already in place.
They’ve had hundreds of rides per month and are growing weekly, Rudin said. They are seeing a 25 to 40 percent of customers choosing both taxis and black cars. AsterRide also runs in Orlando and Seattle (Everett), and plans to complete their launch in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego and Cleveland by May 2015.
Rudin said in the near future they are planning on the option for passengers to choose a female and/or child-certified driver.
“We want to be a trusted brand and make this industry better and safer for riders,” Rudin said.
What other on-demand services are in Arizona?
Photos courtesy of AsterRide