MANCHESTER, NH — Five months ago, Max and Saverna Ahmad launched Rydelinx, a downloadable app allowing riders to pick out a professional driver of a luxury car at a price within their budget.
Since then, the company has grown to 245 drivers in 13 states, with the majority in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and about 30 of them located at Logan International Airport.
One driver in Hawaii downloaded the app, Max said. He contacted that individual to find out how he heard about Rydelinx.
The Ahmads said what they are now focusing on are the riders. They have 273 registered riders but want to grow that end of the business.
Originally, the couple focused on social media to get the word out about the app.
Now, they have hired a marketing team that is focusing on airports and large cities.
Saverna said that media campaign includes the Rydelinx app popping up when anyone does a Google search for transportation at a certain airport or large city. She said Rydelinx is much more than an app, it is a platform serving both drivers and riders.
“We want it to be the Travelocity for riders,” she said.
To that end, in about two to three months, riders will be able to make reservations for a driver they want.
“That will be a big part of it,” said Max.
A customer will put in their pickup location, destination, date and time, number of passengers including the amount of luggage to ensure the vehicle is large enough and any special requests, such as car seats.
The app also allows riders to see the driver and the make, model, color and plate number of the car.
Drivers within 25 miles of the customer’s location will be able to view the request and respond. Rydelinx charges drivers 18 percent of the fee.
The Ahmads came up with the app in response to Uber and Lyft, which took away business from their Blue Sky Transportation company, a high-end car service that for 15 years has taken customers to Logan, weddings and nights out on the town.
According to a 2018 survey by Ridester, Uber takes more than 25 percent of trip earnings – which includes various fees. Uber sets trip costs and pays drivers for time plus miles, minus any fees.
Rydelinx drivers are all independent contractors but cars used must be commercially insured for safety reasons, he said. All drivers are professionals who have undergone criminal background checks, according to Max.
The drivers are in control, setting their own prices. Max says if a driver takes someone to Logan International Airport, if he can pick up someone at the airport wanting to go to Manchester, he will be able to charge less since he has already earned the full price.
For instance, on Thursday afternoon an Auburn resident sought transportation to Logan International Airport in Boston. Seven drivers were available, with prices ranging from $56.40 to $133, and various automobile models.