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Ground transportation: the post-COVID-19 travel experience

As travel restrictions begin to ease around the world and businesses prepare for their re-entry to business travel, we understand that business travelers face many unknowns surrounding their future travel experiences.

CTM recently conducted a global customer survey to understand the key issues and concerns facing businesses and their travelers as they prepare to return to travel. A recurring theme across our survey findings was the future travel experience, and how the safety and well-being of travelers would be maintained.

When it comes to ground transportation – from car rental to ride share – business travelers can expect to experience newly enhanced protocols across a range of services spanning cleaning, vehicle collection and drop-off, and booking administration.

In this blog, we identify some of the post-COVID-19 measures being implemented across the ground transportation sector in North America.

Car Rental

For many business travelers, the option to rent a car will be a reassuring, and often cost-effective solution. For smaller traveling groups (2 to 3 travelers), renting a full-size car should provide enough space to maintain social distancing while limiting interactions with unknown contacts. Typically, a single day of car rental inclusive of insurance will cost less than 2 or 3 return taxi fares. Check for complimentary parking facilities at your destination or accommodation provider to maximize your budget.

Enhanced cleaning

Many car rental companies have communicated enhanced cleaning methods since COVID-19, with some introducing a ‘new standard of clean’ and increasing safety measures to enhance customer safety and confidence.

Car rental companies like, Enterprise Holdings brands, have committed to enhancing their already rigorous cleaning methods and have implemented ‘Complete Clean Pledge’ across the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-A-Car brands.

Extra precautions to reduce the spread

Car rental companies are introducing additional measures to protect both their employees and customers, with many introducing new safety protocols for vehicle pick-up and drop-off to minimize physical contact.

Enterprise and National customers can expect:

  • Social distancing protocols while onboard shuttle buses
  • Options for curbside rentals as well as delivery at some locations to help promote social distancing
  • Floor markers to encourage social distancing
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols for high touch areas at each branch location
  • Paperless rental agreements and invoices at most locations

In many locations, Emerald Club members can also bypass the counter and walk directly to a vehicle, to ensure a full contactless experience.

Avis also welcomes customers to utilize their own cleaning products during their rental, if they wish, as long as they do not contain bleach (which can damage surfaces).

Many companies are defaulting to electronic rental documentation and receipts (printed copies should be available on request).

Booking conditions and availability

Please note, some car rental companies have adjusted selected branches’ operating hours and locations in response to COVID-19.

In acknowledging the fast-changing travel landscape, some car rental suppliers have introduced temporary changes to booking change and cancellation conditions to provide customers with greater flexibility during COVID-19. Check with your CTM travel consultant to understand the booking conditions that relate to your booking.

Supplier links for the latest information

  • National Car Rental, click here
  • Alamo Rent A Car, click here
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, click here
  • Avis Budget Group, click here
  • Hertz, click here

Rideshare

Rideshare transportation has been increasingly popular among business travelers as a convenient door-to-door transportation option. However, the public nature of a ride-share, it could pose some hesitation amongst riders. Below highlights what two of the most popular rideshare companies are doing to protect the safety of their passengers and drivers.

Extra precautions to reduce the spread

Lyft, a ride share service, created a COVID safety tutorial for drivers containing tips on how to protect themselves while driving. Along with a safety video, Lyft has provided drivers hand sanitizer, cleaning products and face masks. Lyft is recommending riders wear face coverings, frequently disinfect and sanitize their hands as well as, high-touch surfaces, keep the car windows open and sit in the back seat.

Uber, an additional ride share service, is requiring that all passengers and drivers wear a face cover or mask. Passengers are encouraged to wash their hands before and after the ride has completed, sit in the back seat to give enough space between the passenger and the driver and open the window to improve ventilation.

Private Car

Chauffeur provider, Carey International has distributed training materials to chauffeurs and other employees highlighting the CDC guidelines for controlling the spread. All drivers and passengers are to wear face-coverings for both the protection of the passenger and driver. Carey International has also asked for passengers to avoid touching surfaces of the vehicle where possible and to wait for the chauffeur to open and close the doors before and after each journey. Where possible, passengers are being asked to handle their luggage themselves to prevent contamination. In cases where help or assistance is required, passengers will be advised to use hand sanitizer and disinfect their luggage for precautions.

At CTM, we have a select group of preferred ground transportation partners that we work with. During these times when there is uncertainty around travel, our preferred partners are keeping the safety of our customers at the forefront by supporting and safeguarding traveler wellbeing. This is done through enhanced cleaning measures and ensuring protocols are in place to reduce the spread.