Teddy's Limousine Blog - Teddy's Limo dot Calm

Category: Corporate Transportation

New York City: Most congested traffic in U.S.

WE WIN ?

New York City was named the most congested city in the U.S. in 2022 by the Annual TomTom Traffic Index, as reported by News 4 New York last week. Woo hoo.

The News4 report said it takes an average of 23 minutes and 39 seconds to drive 6 miles in Manhattan and that the worst hour is Thursdays, 4 to 5PM. Luckily for Teddy’s many very busy business travelers, Teddy’s has flat fares for travel between Manhattan, or the airports, and towns like Darien, New Canaan and Greenwich thus avoiding a penalty when having to travel during rush hour.

And please don’t just think of Manhattan when you think of New York City. “NYC” is comprised of five Borough. In addition to Manhattan, New York City includes the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens. Queens is where two major NYC airports, LaGuardia (LGA) and John F Kennedy (JFK) are located; a major draw for the millions of residents of southern Connecticut’s Fairfield County and of Westchester County, NY.

Greater New York has two other busy, centrally located airports including Newark Liberty (code EWR for some reason). Westchester County Airport (HPN), in White Plains, is busy too.

In 1938, a bill was passed to cap the number of taxi medallions at that year’s current amount of 13,595

  • A 2019 report in CityLimits.org has the current number of medallions at roughly the same!
  • Uber and Lyft, however, added “80,000” more according to The Verge in 2018. John McCarthy, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, told AM NY that “proliferation of Uber and Lyft over the past years has worsened Manhattan’s traffic.”

Counterintuitive to most, but ‘several studies including a 1993 Pricewaterhouse study, found that overall, in many cities deregulated, (as) the supply of taxicabs increased, fares increased, service quality declined and there were more trip refusals, lower vehicle quality …with only minor improvements in availability” as quoted from a Connecticut Legislative Fellow, Kristina Sadlak in a 2004 report to the Connecticut General Assembly.

Stories abound about taxi drivers, both traditional and of Uber, etc., of drivers now having to sleep in their cars most nights to make ends meet.

“Airports were planned for taxi lines, not this other large vehicle transportation mode,” said Tanvi Gandham, a management consultant in a New York Times article.

Congestion fees are already paid, on private car service, for trips to or from Midtown Manhattan, for people traveling from Greater White Plains or anywhere within New York State. Interstate private car service continues to be exempt, so far, saving $2.35 for passengers from Stamford, Greenwich and on through Westport, Wilton, Ridgefield, etc..

The other U.S. cities on top of the Tomtom report are Washington, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Baltimore.

In New York, like in many cities, Uber and Lyft used armies of people with bags of cell phones to go straight to the people to buy a nice car (or rent, often by the week or shift) and become a taxi driver for them. THEN, when called upon by the City of New York and lawmakers in Hartford, Boston, New Haven and more, plead for mercy on behalf of all those people that invested in cars in regard exempting them from having to apply for taxi permits or get the physical fitness card or fingerprinted background checks required of most more traditional taxi drivers.

The Value of ‘Yes’

Last week a certain money manager from New Canaan became positively apoplectic when we could not meet his chauffeured car service need on short notice.

We can’t blame him. He and his team have counted on flawless service and never a coverage issue from Teddy’s for decades. But we called several other affiliated limo companies to meet his Sunday night request for a Monday morning car. ..and nobody had an available driver. Our drivers all had assignments already – even me, the company president had a pre-dawn trip to cover.

Teddy’s has always understood a simple ‘yes we can’ is often what our clients covet most from us. “Can I get a 5AM car Tuesday for my boss from Westport to LaGuardia?” Of course – with no pre-dawn surcharge! Midtown, New York to Greenwich tomorrow night? Certainly.

Lately, though, as you have read in so many headlines, the service and travel industries are having once-in-a-lifetime difficulties in finding help to fuel the rapid rebirth of post-pandemic business travel. So many chauffeurs had to leave the industry while it was effectively closed and we are battling to replace that headcount with other world-class professional drivers – no easy task.

Meanwhile, Teddy’s is hearing from so many new people who need professional private car service. So many have moved up to Connecticut during the pandemic. Just today, we booked a first-time ride from a woman whose family just moved to Darien from Brooklyn. We are also hearing from numerous people whose pre-pandemic car service is out of business. At the same time, our frequent business fliers are returning to work at a brisk clip.

We’ve got you. We have your back. But ‘yes’ costs a little more for a while as we rely on independent affiliates and partner providers to help meet your business travel needs. So we’ve increased our surcharge to help us attract and retain the professional chauffeur staff you have come to rely on. We hope you understand.

Teddy’s Old School Hospitality Values Help You Succeed

~ Your calls to Teddy’s are NEVER met by “dial 3 for reservations” and six other options that “have recently changed”. All calls are simply answered. Instantly. Simple and helpful.

By comparison, I am writing this while I am on hold, on two different lines, with an airline that should remain nameless. Regardless of their robotic declaration that my “call is important to” them, my estimated hold times are 48 minutes and 1 hour and 22 minutes respectively.  I even lied and ‘told’ the automated voice equipment that I wanted to book two first-class tickets to Paris. That used to get me to a much shorter call queue. But now all bets are off with the whole planet working from home.

Imagine if that was you, haulin’ a__ through O’Hare loaded with luggage, a briefcase and overcoat and about to miss your connection home to LaGuardia and frantic to get a seat on the next flight. Folks like you miss far too much family time as it is. We can’t help much with the new flight. But pushing your Teddy’s private car back 90 minutes will only take a few seconds and you’ll only have to touch our phone number once.

So why am I on the phone for this? My new client’s flight out of Fort Lauderdale (FLL) got sent back to the gate. The passengers had to disembark and swapped onto new aircraft. It happens. The new flight is utilizing the same flight number (we think), but all the flight trackers (I’ve got four up) all think the flight was indefinitely “diverted” back to FLL.

Meanwhile the airline’s auto notification text (flight tracking tool #5) told me the replacement equipment was due to depart Florida 8:15. But since I can’t track it online and can’t get the airline on the phone, I can only hope we get it right and don’t miss the arrival time into LGA. After all, to be responsible with your fare dollars, our Norwalk-based chauffeur is sitting at home in Fairfield waiting for news the flight is airborne before driving down to New York.

Teddy’s takes great pride in being the only service you can think of that simply “answers the phone,” live, with a direct professional no matter what time of the day or night

That is why I take great pride in personally working 6 nights a week, 3PM to 10PM during the COVID pandemic business travel downturn. Teddy’s has always taken tremendous pride in being the only service you can think of that simply “answers the phone,” live with a direct professional no matter what time of the day or night: Just so folks like you get your calls, texts and emails answered instantly without having to do anything more than call.

“one call does it all”

As well, one call does it all. If you already have* a traveler profile with Teddy’s, you can spend five to eight minutes on the phone with us and have car service lined up to get you to JFK, meet you a few hours later in Miami, Dallas, LA, etc., even London, Paris and more. We can get you to the distant meeting the next day and back to your flight home when it’s time. Arrange a Teddy’s for your dinner with distant colleagues or clients too.

We can cut staff and make you hold 90 minutes. We’d save a lot of money. But, after all, we are in the business of keeping you stress free and productive in relation to what, I am sure, is usually a brutal business travel schedule. We hope you appreciate the investment and utilize Teddy’s to keep the wheels rolling with your business.

Team Teddy’s eagerly looks forward to helping your team get back on track as business travel starts to resume. If you’d like some tools to get your team set up with Teddy’s travel profiles ..and a preferred business farebook, contact sales@teddyslimo.com or call Charles Wisniewski at 203-866-2231 any time.

*If you are a member of the Teddy’s Platinum Reward Miles program, then you have a Teddy’s traveler profile. To see what’s in it, either log on or we can send you a screen shot.

Uptick in business travel

Teddy’s is seeing a slight uptick in daily trip counts since the end of the election

 

As you may have seen, in this space earlier, airports and air travel are proving to be exceptionally safe vis a vis the coronavirus. In fact, ‘companywide travel bans have become less common’ according to a State of the Industry report published by Business Travel News (Nov 5, 2020).

make your case and go

Only 5.6% travel managers said business travel is still suspended

The digital article goes on to say that while many business travelers are reluctant to travel, “plenty of companies and plenty of travelers say they want to travel.”

“Smaller companies, which are more growth-driven, are back on the road and traveling at half …their 2019 volume”.

After all, business travel has a 12:1 Return on Investment (ROI). We all now know that “phoning it in” leaves a lot to be said. JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon retorts online meetings lack “creative combustion.”

TSA Screened over 1 million pax Oct 18. First time since March: Global Business Travel Association

TSA Administrator Shares Insights with the World’s Largest Business Travel Association

The steps TSA is taking to ensure a safe, secure return to travel

 


For the eighth week of its Collaboratory 2020 series, the Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Interim Executive Director, Dave Hilfman, hosted David Pekoske, Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the headliner webinar of the week: “TSA: Leveraging Technology and Innovation to Stay Healthy and Secure” according to a GBTA blog post.

Webinar, participants heard from Pekoske about the agency’s response to growing passenger volumes, protective measures being taken to make the screening process safer for passengers and employees, and technological innovations designed to reduce physical contact and increase social distancing at the checkpoint.

Highlights of the discussion between Mr. Hilfman and Administrator Pekoske included the following:

  • On Sunday, October 18, TSA screened over 1 million passengers for the first time since March 17, 2020. “We are seeing about a 40 percent recovery of the system overall,” said Pekoske. “While some airports are seeing a faster recovery, particularly those in more popular leisure travel destinations, the trend is very positive.”
  • During the pandemic, TSA has made great strides in improving safety and security for the traveling public through the use of credential authentication technology, x-ray technology for carry-on bags, and advanced imaging technology for traveler body scans. “We’ve made the identification check at security nearly contactless, with new technology that allows the traveler to insert their driver’s license into a machine – instead of handing it to an agent – and the machine tells the agent if the identification is valid and even checks the traveler’s flight status while they are standing there,” said Pekoske.
  • The pandemic will result in positive, long-term changes to the way TSA operates. “At TSA, we have experienced unparalleled cooperation with airports, airlines and the travel industry, enabling us to become even more agile, assess issues more rapidly and come up with a solution quickly,” said Pekoske. “The TSA workforce has been phenomenal during this challenging time and our front-line employees have been able to forge better relationships with passengers, which is critical in building confidence and ensuring convenience for the passengers.”

“The advances in technology and enhancements in sanitization should make passengers feel very confident when traveling by air,” said Pekoske. “When I’ve traveled during this pandemic, my experience has been uniformly positive, with the overwhelming majority of passengers following health guidelines and TSA and airlines doing a fantastic job of making passengers feel very safe.”