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UZURV Fills The Transportation Void

BY Sande Sneade

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While Uber and Lyft have certainly been major disruptors to the transit and transportation industry, the one drawback used to be for those who lived in rural areas or the lack of dependability if you need a crack-of-dawn ride to the airport.
Not anymore. Enter UZURV, a reservation services app that allows you to reserve your ride in advance.
UZURV originated in Richmond, Virginia in 2015, but the service has quickly grown and UZURV is now in more than 155 cities across the country.

“It’s really gone viral,” Donlon said. “Part of that success is that we are investing in our drivers. They have a business card and a code they give to introduce people to UZURV. Customers get their first three rides free and the driver gets residual income – 7 percent of all future reservations just for introducing that customer to UZURV.”

Stepping outside of the convenience factor and looking to the transit dependent, UZURV is filling the void for the special needs and health care communities as well.

In December 2017, UZURV partnered with Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) to coordinate and execute CARE On Demand rides (including ADA-compliant drivers and vehicles). RoundTrip is another Richmond-based start up that also partnered with GRTC to provide these rides. CARE On Demand customers can order rides online, over the phone, or with an app.

At the end of March 2018, UZURV announced a six-month pilot with Nashville MTA’s Access On Demand that gives its AccessRide customers the option to book a direct, dedicated private ride with no additional stops and just two hours’ notice.

While UZURV will no doubt continue such partnerships to fill in the missing link for transit dependent customers, “choice riders” will continue to be a focus.

UZURV CEO Matt Donlon himself continues to serve as an Uber driver so he can keep his hand on the pulse of the business. He gave former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton her first UZURV ride to the train station.

“We are most successful where Uber and Lyft don’t do well,” Donlon said.
“UZRUV does great business in ride sharing dead zones.”

UZURV only handles reservations and does not provide transportation directly. Think of it as the “Open Table” for ride reservations. After downloading the app to your smartphone, you can request a pick up date and time well in advance of your trip.

Another cool thing about UZURV is that you can select your favorite driver as well as services and amenities you are seeking in a car service – infant car seat, military base access, etc. You select the service you want to use – Uber or Lyft and the service type (size and/or luxury vehicle) and add an incentive (it automatically starts at $3; you can make it more or less). The only downside for our instant gratification-seeking selves is that you have to wait for a driver to accept the reservation and the only way you will know is by checking back on the app.

With a recent Richmond airport trip requiring a 6 a.m. departure, I wanted to ensure I didn’t have to wait 15 minutes, when I summoned my ride.

Three drivers accepted my reservation and I selected “Kristen,” had an online iPhone “chat” with her to confirm details and describe my house. The process was seamless; she was at my door before 6 a.m. and delivered me to the airport for less than $20.

The app is available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play store. To find out more, go to https://uzurv.com/

Sande Snead frequently ubers or lyfts to local restaurants especially downtown where parking and walking in heels can add to the value of paying for a ride. She UZURVs for early morning airport departures or destinations further afield.