The ground transportation arm of Rentalcars.com plans to roll out a greater range of options in almost 30% of its destinations during this year.
Rideways began trading officially in September 2015 after a period of testing in 14 cities in the UK. It now claims to have nearly twice the coverage of Uber with service in 800 cities in 120 countries.
Managing director, Hikmet Babayev, said the division was established as a natural extension for Rentalcars.com and to provide product for markets in places where self-drive isn’t an option or is challenging, like China and India.
Testing has begun on trains, buses and shuttles in a number of different destinations where Rideways has been able to secure product.
Babayev said: “The plan this year is to really develop that in a much bigger way across any more locations. During this year we should have 30% of locations with shared transportation options like trains and buses where they are available.”
Babayev highlighted the example of Stockholm where travelling into the city centre from airport is quicker and cheaper by train. “We want to offer the best options for customers, but also to be able to tailor it for the occasion and group size.
“We have already started to build integrated touchpoints for our partners that allow customers to choose between whether they want a taxi, bus, train, or car hire.”
Rideways is a standalone B2C brand, but product will be offered to B2B partners as part of Rentalcars Connect and over the next year will become increasingly integrated into the results Rentalcars.com shows to customers.
Existing partners include Booking.com, a leading global OTA, and south-east Asian budget carrier Tiger Air. Many others are in the pipeline, some of which will have a search widget integrated into their websites.
Babayev said he is happy with the B2C traffic volumes driven by performance marketing and social, meaning the economics have been proven and 2017 will be about scaling it.
“We think there is definitely potential on the B2C side but we will also be bigger B2B because so many partners come to us saying they offer flight and hotel, so being able, with just one or two clicks, to get their customers to their hotel or from their flight is compelling. It’s all about making the travel experience a little better.”
Rideways is also determined build trust in the transfer product by focusing on quality and currently it has an average 4.6 out of 5 rating on Feefo on over 2,000 reviews.
“We are demonstrating that this is quality experience, that there are standards and we are making that visible to the whole world. In car hire it’s more about terms and conditions and the small print, with transfers it’s whether they are going to be there to pick me up. That’s our biggest challenge.
“We are showing that there is a standard as opposed to just packaging something up that’s opaque and you have no idea about quality.”