Livery Car Upstages Uber on a local level

Limousine Livery has altered the playing field in the luxury ground transportation industry by launching their own app, Livery Car, which goes head-to-head with Uber in the New Orleans market.

Utilizing local independent operators to deliver on-demand luxury car rides, the San Francisco-based company entered the New Orleans market in Sept. 2014. Taking advantage of the supply and demand, Uber built their model on dynamic search pricing – where the computer decides what to charge the customer.

A local law that prevented this premium car service being offered at an affordable price stated any vehicle that was not a taxi had to charge a minimum fare of $105, whether the passengers was going a few blocks or to the airport.  Mid-2014, the New Orleans City Council changed the minimum fare to $15 for luxury cars. Another change made by the City Council was to deregulate the black car industry by removing requirements to start a limousine company – in essence making it easier for more independent operators to enter the market.

This was advantageous to Aaron Dirks, owner of Limousine Livery, who was not only able to launch the Livery Car app in Dec. 2014 at competitive fares, but he could also offer opportunities to local independent operators to fill in the gaps with smaller rides at a much larger compensation to what Uber was offering.

“There are a lot of advantages that we could provide as a local company that Uber could not. We have 150 local employees, an office that you can come and visit,” says Dirks. “Most of the other limousine companies and transportation services do a lot of business for us on behalf of our customers, we are too big of a fleet, they are all joining our system and so our inventory of products is much larger, like 10 times larger so we are tough competition.” 

Livery Car also has two major benefits over Uber; first, they avoid dynamic surge pricing except for Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve – the rest of the time it will stay at a flat charge. Second, riders have the ability to book a car up to eight days in advance.

The app is an add-on to their international logistics management business, which as a whole is expanding rapidly. In Biz New Orleans February issue, we delve deeper into Limousine Livery and how their new app upstages Uber on the local market.

For more on Limousine Livery’s new offerings, be sure to check out my article in the upcoming February issue!

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