New app attempts to turn a Tiffany’s of a ride-hailing scene

When Jeff Lundquist took his initial Uber ride, he was heedful as a Honda pulled up.

It was careless and smelly. He spied a baby chair in a back. He had no thought whose automobile he was entering or how good a motorist was.

But a preference of job a float with usually a few taps on a phone on a renouned ride-hailing app appealed to him. That gave Lundquist an idea: Why not take a preference of Uber to a lush and veteran universe of limousines?

So he done an app to do usually that. Lundquist recruited dual full-time programmers who grown a app for his web-based genuine estate company, Homegevity. He used his existent bureau space and his possess income to account a growth phase. And in March, Call Limo was born.

Call Limo offers rides on direct from a swift exclusively comprised of limos, city cars and high-end SUVs during a cost identical to Uber. It hopes to carve out a square of a marketplace mostly dominated by Uber and widespread a foothold over a Twin Cities. Lundquist pronounced he’s awaiting a initial outward investment in a app as early as Aug to scale a operation.

“We’re holding people who are already going out, that are used to Uber, and giving them a ability to have oppulance for not most more,” Lundquist said.

Like Uber, Call Limo riders can place a pin on a map where they wish to be picked up. The app uses Google Maps for drivers to find business and equivocate traffic-heavy streets. Customers are charged by a minute, not by distance. And distinct Uber, riders are giveaway of a “surge charge” in bustling areas.

Uber already offers a identical oppulance float use by Uber Black, though Call Limo seeks to heed itself by usually holding on commercially protected limo drivers. At a core of Lundquist’s devise is offered a knowledge of being chauffeured by a veteran with fewer hassles.

“The aged standards of renting a limo was we need to call forward and lease for a smallest of dual hours,” Lundquist said. “I’m perplexing to mangle that mold.”

Right now, a biggest plea is lifting recognition for a app. So far, Call Limo has relied on word-of-mouth and web-based marketing. Lundquist marks eventgoers around Facebook’s Graph API, that allows developers to daub information from a amicable network and marketplace directly to intensity customers. For example, if someone clicks “Going” on a Facebook eventuality page for a Lion King musical, Lundquist can post a customized summary in a person’s newsfeed soliciting a limo float to a event.

Call Limo also uses hunt engine optimization to obstacle web traffic. Lundquist pronounced he designed 150 websites for 150 airports around a country. Through SEO, these websites cocktail adult toward a tip of hunt results, Lundquist said, and any website redirects to Call Limo’s website.

Call Limo now has 30 eccentric limo drivers and limo companies. Its preference ranges from eight- to 15-seat limos, Lincoln Town Cars to GMC Denalis. Lundquist recruited many of a drivers himself, and others assimilated after conference about a app by other drivers.

Using apps like Call Limo and Uber Black looks to be a good approach for limo drivers to make income while watchful for reservations to drip in, pronounced Noam Kaufmann, owners of One Great Limousine Service in Minneapolis.

So far, a boon is brief of revolutionary. Kaufmann, who has been regulating Call Limo given a launch, pronounced rides from app usually make adult about 5 percent of his business.

Patrick Grose, owners of Preferred Limousine, pronounced he’s gotten one float by Call Limo in a month his association has used a app. Still, they clarity intensity in a app and devise to hang around.

“It’s still a mint company, and we don’t consider people unequivocally know about it yet,” pronounced Grose, whose association has 6 drivers and 5 cars. “Right now, Uber is a usually thing people know that gives that present gratification. Hopefully with some-more advertising, a word will get out that there is an choice to Uber.”

Call Limo now gets around 25 rides a day and Lundquist aims to boost that series to 100 by a finish of a year. Call Limo takes home 25 percent of any transport picked adult by a app, that averages around $20 to $40, Lundquist said. He pronounced a fares are some-more costly since limo riders tend to make longer trips than Uber riders. Lundquist pronounced Call Limo is essential interjection to minimal overhead.

While new to Minneapolis, Uber spinoffs like Call Limo are on a arise opposite a country. HopSkipDrive of Los Angeles caters to minors, who can’t get a float alone by Uber. L.A.’s See Jane Go and Safeher in Boston offer rides by women drivers for women who feel vulnerable removing in a automobile of an different man.

For now a opening in a marketplace stays wide, and Lundquist is assured there are adequate Uber riders emotional a some-more veteran use for his app to take off.

“There’s always going to be something to be pronounced about not meaningful who you’re removing in a automobile with when we go with Uber,” Lundquist said.