Local 'On-Demand' service takes off in the Pine Belt
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - This is a press release from Grove Ride Transit.
This summer, Hattiesburg will become a flagship city in Mississippi with the launch of groveRideNow. This ‘Uber-like’, app-based pick up service was organized and developed by the same family who brought Grove Transit and the free Hattiesburg Weekend Trolley to the Hub City.
Dan Reid, Owner of Grove Transit, along with his wife Sue and daughter Callan, have been working in the transportation business in the Hattiesburg area for 6 years and have helped provide over 658,800 complete pick ups since opening their business in Mississippi. Reid, originally from San Francisco Bay Area in California hadn’t planned to live in Hattiesburg until circumstances created an opportunity to relocate. “I had spent close to 30 years working for Private Equity, accounting firms and operating companies. Unfortunately, my job was a casualty of the market collapse in late 2008…after that, I realized I didn’t want to letting anyone control my destiny again,” Dan Reid commented. “So Sue and I decided to start our own business. Since I had spent a professional lifetime advising clients, we figured it was time to put my experience to work for us. We came to Hattiesburg to look at an opportunity and as soon as we arrived we knew we liked it here…In the end, however, rather than buy an existing company we decided to start our own so that we could create a culture and a focus that was in line with our desires for a new company…and I hope to make Hattiesburg a leading city for applying state-of-the-art technology while providing safe, reliable and courteous transportation to all residents.”
The Grove Transportation brand hosts several transportations services and options, including vehicles for Family Gatherings, Social Engagements, Senior Citizens, Wheelchair-access, Airport Transportation and Dialysis & Medical appointments. In addition to these services, Grove Transit has been the driving force behind the Hattiesburg Trolley, which offers a safe, free ride every weekend to get to various entertainment spots around Hattiesburg.
“Reliable access to transportation will continue to fuel the expansion of Hattiesburg's nightlife,” said State Representative Toby Barker. “With its investment in both a night trolley and taxi service, Grove has stepped forward to fill an important niche. Whether in Downtown, the Avenues or Midtown, Grove's service works for the benefit of both residents and businesses.”
As of May 2016, groveRideNow will be the newest edition to the many amenities that Hattiesburgers and visitors alike can enjoy. groveRideNow will be able to provide on-demand rides to and from any local destination for a per mile fee. “Initially, groveRideNow will essentially service all of the greater Hattiesburg area including Petal, Rawls Springs, Oak Grove out to just past Canebrake and south of Hwy 98, and of course we’ll also serve Camp Shelby,” said Callan Reid, Vice President for Grove Transit. “We hope to introduce it to other markets in South Mississippi as we find a demand for it,” Reid continued. Not only will groveRideNow provide convenience, but they’ll also be able to do it for an affordable price. “Our goal is to provide convenient, safe and affordable transportation to Hattiesburgers.” Callan continued. “For the most part you can get to many locations for under $5. For example, a trip from USM to downtown is just around $5. With groveRideNow, we charge by the stop not by the person, so it makes no difference in the price if it’s one person traveling or a group of four,”
A rider can either download the groveRideNow app or call the local dispatch number and request a car to pick them up from their current location, they can then enjoy a safe ride to their destination and pay for the total ride through a seamless online system.
Although the model for groveRideNow is similar to other services like Uber, Grove Transit has taken extra steps to be sure that there are specific requirements that will ensure the safety of drivers and riders alike. “All of our drivers receive over 40 hours of classroom and vehicle training, as well as ongoing training throughout the year. We do pre-hire and random drug and alcohol screens, and we do extensive background checks on all of our drivers,” explained Owner Dan Reid. “Also, all of our vehicles our company owned, company maintained and company insured. But more important and unlike any of the so-called “transportation network companies” such as Uber, we have local management, local oversight and local dispatching here in Hattiesburg. Finally, while we encourage all riders to take advantage of the convenience of using our app as well as setting up an account with a credit card on file so that you never have to deal with payment in the vehicle, unlike other companies, our customers are not left out if they don’t have a smart phone. Riders can still ride with us by simply calling into our dispatch and booking a ride over the phone, and then they can pay with a credit card in the vehicle,” said Reid.
While the groveRideNow service is open to anyone in their service area, the Reid’s hope to especially be available to the university and college student demographic. “We came from a small town that had a college, but we never really saw the students in town because there was no easy means of transportation. So we’ve seen first hand a need for providing college age students with convenient transportation. Southern Miss and William Carey students make up a significant portion of Hattiesburg’s population, yet if a student doesn’t have car they really have no easy way to get around town. groveRideNow provides a safe and convenient way for students to enjoy all of Hattiesburg,” Dan stated. “As a parent myself, I know I would have loved to have been able to set up an account with a company like groveRideNow when the girls were in school so that I didn’t have to worry when they went to enjoy college nightlife,” said Reid.
groveRideNow is now available for download form any cell device app store or by calling (601) 329-2100.
For more information about Grove Transit, groveRideNow or any services mentioned, visit www.grovetransit.com.