Are you a frequent user of ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft? If so, chances are you’ve had a few rides that didn’t go as planned. Along with rider safety concerns, maybe the pick-up time at the airport just took too long or the condition of the vehicle was far below quality. And it’s not just passengers either: Drivers for rideshare services often have to deal with rude customers and low wages.
Whatever the case might be, if you’re looking to upgrade your car service experience as either a driver or a rider, it might be time to try GroundLink.
GroundLink is designed to combine the mobile app functionality of Lyft and Uber with the excellent service provided by professional limo drivers. Imagine a Lyft mobile app where every car is a black car service, and you’re guaranteed an accurate pick-up and arrival time.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how GroundLink differs from traditional rideshare mobile apps like Lyft and Uber, as well as how to register as a rider or driver.
What Is GroundLink?
GroundLink Holdings, LLC is a black car service for the rideshare age. According to their site, the company was founded 15 years ago “by an entrepreneur whose hired car didn’t pick him up from the airport, embarrassing him in front of an important business client.”
GroundLink aims to create the ease of rideshare booking and accessibility without sacrificing the quality of a limo service.
The service specializes in corporate clients looking for prompt service and time guarantees, but they’re also available for leisure travelers looking for an alternative to on-demand services like Lyft and Uber.
How to Book a GroundLink Ride
If you’re familiar with Uber or Lyft, GroundLink booking is a breeze. You can download the mobile app on either the Android or iPhone app stores. You’ll need an email address, phone number, and credit card to register.
Once your account is active, the mobile app interface will look similar to Uber or Lyft. The biggest difference for riders is that GroundLink specializes in scheduled rides instead of immediate service.
However, if you live in select major cities in the United States, GroundLink offers “Ride Now,” which pairs riders with professional drivers in real time. Currently the “Ride Now” service is only available in the greater New York City area, Chicago, Boston, Houston, and Dallas-Ft. Worth.
Once you’re ready to schedule a ride, you can select your origin, destination and time of pick-up, as well as what kind of car you’d like. Depending on availability in your area, you can choose from a luxury midsize, full-size, or SUV service for your ride. After confirming your reservation, your driver will meet you at the time and place you designate.
In addition to providing only luxury vehicles (see below for requirements), GroundLink wants to offer a better overall riding experience than rideshare services. The company promotes its “On Time Every Time” policy, which states that if a ride is ever late to a pick-up, the next ride (up to $75 in value) is complimentary.
Just like Uber and Lyft, GroundLink features a standard GPS program for drivers and riders to locate each other. But unlike regular ride-hailing services, GroundLink offers a more accommodating airport pick-up policy that includes up to a 60-minute window for riders to meet drivers once their flight arrives.
Drivers can also select options for curbside pick-up (complimentary with every reservation) or in-person pick-ups (for an additional fee), so they can skip the airport rideshare line altogether.
If you select the meet-and-greet service, your driver will wait for you by baggage claim or customs (depending on the flight) with your name displayed on a GroundLink sign. If you meet your drive curbside, you’ll receive a text message with location details and a phone number to contact your driver. Every airport policy is different, but where available GroundLink will be waiting to help travelers avoid the long rideshare lines and get to their destination more quickly.
Ideal for Businesses
The mobile app allows users to switch easily from one-time transportation to corporate accounts. It also allows for a user to set up transportation for another person or groups of people, making it great for business.
For instance, if your business has multiple clients visiting for a meeting, you can coordinate multiple airport transfers in advance, coordinated with flight information. That’s an amount of detail and multitasking a traditional rideshare app can’t offer.
GroundLink offers traditional car service by the hour as well. If you’re looking for a booking that requires more than one trip to a single destination, the platform also allows users to book limos or luxury cars by the hour and day.
You can either use the mobile app or make a reservation online, and a car will take you to multiple destinations during your booked window of time. You don’t have to worry about how long you’re taking between rides either.
How to Become a GroundLink Driver
The good news for drivers is that with a premium experience for riders comes a premium price to order a GroundLink car. The average cost of a vehicle from New York’s JFK or LaGuardia airports to midtown Manhattan is $70, which is higher than a standard Uber or Lyft.
But that price means better wages for GroundLink professional drivers. According to the site, drivers can earn $120,000 a year or more (that figure is based on a full-time driver accepting an average of 25 rides per week). And because the service specializes in scheduled trips with corporate clients over on-demand rides, drivers can create a more predictable daily driving schedule.
To register, either visit GroundLink.com or download the mobile app. You can also call the customer service line at 1-855-813-5691. You need to be a licensed driver with a clean driving record and submit to a background check. You also need to own and operate an insured luxury vehicle that meets the company’s standards (see below for details).
GroundLink currently holds a 4.0 rating on GlassDoor, thanks to its auto-dispatch system and 24/7 customer service for both drivers and riders. GroundLink drivers rave about the company’s corporate travel appeal, allowing professional drivers to work reliable schedules (usually airport transfers) for good money. Unlike Uber or Lyft, you can forecast the bulk of your earnings ahead of time.
What Kind of Vehicle Does GroundLink Accept?
The company is extremely selective regarding acceptable vehicles. In order to qualify as a driver, you’ll need to have a black 2012 or later model of the following vehicles:
- BMW Series 7
- Cadillac XTS, CTS, STS, or Escalade
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Chrysler 300
- GMC Yukon XL
- Lexus RX350
- Lincoln MKS, MKT, or MKX
- Mercedes S550
- Toyota Avalon or Highlander
If you have a different make or model luxury vehicle from 2012 or later that you think might qualify,, you can call the company at 1-855-813-5691.
A Premium Service for a Premium Price
If you need to run to the grocery store or get a quick ride to your favorite bar or coffee shop, it makes much more sense to call an Uber or Lyft. Because GroundLink requires scheduling ahead of time in most cities, the spur-of-the-moment ride won’t work. Also, it’s pricey.
On average you can expect to spend at least two or three times more on your ride than you would on other ride-hailing services. But if you’re looking to impress a business contact or enjoy a luxury experience, GroundLink offers an experience other rideshare companies don’t.
For drivers, GroundLink is often the difference between part-time rideshare wages and professional work. The barrier to entry is substantial because of the vehicle requirements, but if you have the right car or SUV and live in a major city that demands luxury and business travel, GroundLink can offer much more reliable, higher-paying rides than Uber or Lyft.