< PrevNext > 2020 Business Travel Buyer's Handbook Working with Chauffeured Car Providers Covid-19 Update: Pandemic Drives Hygiene Expectation By Dawit Habtemariam / July 27, 2020 / Contact Reporter Share Download ChapterChauffeur providers are eager to service corporates and see the fall in air travel as an opportunity to demonstrate their value to corporates by using convenient, comfortable and safe service. This puts buyers in a stronger position when it comes to negotiations. Cheaper, less regulated ride-hailing programs, however, may lose some luster. To keep travelers safe and win over corporate business, chauffeur ground transportation companies are implementing hygienic protocols based on public health officials' recommendations. Most providers require drivers to practice social distancing (no more handshake greetings), along with wearing masks and gloves, disinfecting their vehicles after every ride and making hand sanitizer gel available to passengers. Some have mandated all multi-purpose vehicles be fitted with fully sealed partitions between the driver and the passenger. Ride-hailing providers like Uber and Lyft have enhanced their sanitation protocols, as well. They require drivers and riders to wear masks and to agree to drive with open windows. Drivers are required to declare they are symptom-free prior to beginning their shift and clean their vehicles between riders. Both Uber and Lyft have invested millions in providing drivers with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and masks. These protocols may not be enough to satisfy corporate travel managers, who are looking for increased control over their programs. Ride-hailing providers rely on passenger reviews and not contracted service level agreements to ensure implementation of agreed protocols. This could dampen uptake of formal business travel agreements. Ultimately, though, usage by business travelers may depend on available alternatives: ride-hailing services are likely still preferred to taxi or public transit.As companies consider return-to-work strategies, some may lean on ride-hailing allowances or contracted chauffeured group transportation providers to get employees to the office, particularly in urban areas where public transport is the alternative. Chauffeured transportation may also offer an alternative to short-haul flights in certain instances. In addition to reduced exposure to groups of people, it may offer a time-savings opportunity, as airports and airlines introduce health and safety measures into their passenger screening processes.