GetThere has announced the expansion of its GetThere Ground Network with the inclusion of New York-based Executive Transportation Group. GetThere clients can now request black car service, as well as green vehicles, for executives in London, Munich, New York City, Singapore, Tokyo, and other major metropolitan locations. GetThere’s GroundRez technology relationship, announced in July 2007, facilitates online reservations to ETG’s network.
More than 3,000 companies use GetThere today, including more than half of America’s largest corporate travel programs. ETG is the largest directly managed executive sedan company in the United States, representing more than 20 brands and 1,800 black cars (executive sedans) in the New York tri-state area.
In December 2007, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) passed regulations that ultimately call for an all-hybrid taxi fleet by 2012. With the TLC’s commitment to energy-efficient vehicles and corporate America’s growing aspiration to minimise its carbon footprint, the huge black car and limousine industry in New York City represents the next, most obvious opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, and the TLC is already moving in that direction.
ETG has provided exclusive hybrid service to its customers through its Ozocar brand since 2005 and is a leader in driving all of its brands to add hybrid vehicles to their respective fleets. ETG clients requesting hybrid vehicles for their service have access to hybrid sedans in all of ETG’s fleets, regardless of the brand. In addition, through its Extra USA network, ETG clients can make corporate sedan reservations in over 450 cities worldwide, an increasing number of which have green options.
The focus on greener options for GetThere Ground clients dovetails with GetThere’s recent initiatives in the corporate social responsibility arena. GetThere’s package of green-friendly online travel enhancements, introduced to the industry in October 2007, earned commendation from the Institute of Travel Management in conjunction with the first-ever Project ICARUS Environmental Awards.
Since announcing its innovative relationship with GroundRez in the summer of 2007, GetThere reached agreements with nearly two dozen travel management companies and several prominent corporations to begin implementing GetThere Ground. The black car industry is gradually moving online; Limousine & Chauffeured Transportation (LCT) magazine reported that 41 percent of limo/sedan operators took a reservation online in 2006, nearly doubling the figure from the prior year.
GroundRez acts as a technology switch and management tool that efficiently funnels ground options from thousands of providers in a concise layout that facilitates both product and price comparison. Travel managers and procurement personnel can determine which ground vendors are available to their employees, ensuring vendor familiarity and proper vendor utilization.
“Within the past 18 months, the number of corporations requesting hybrid transportation has dramatically increased,” said John Acierno, president and CEO of ETG. “It’s the perfect time to marry corporate America’s desire to “go green” with all the benefits and cost savings inherent in the GetThere Ground offering. ETG already works with a number of GetThere clients that have offices in APAC, Europe and North America, so linking our inventory with GetThere’s booking engine is a winning proposition for all parties.”
“Our base of Fortune 200 multi-national corporations is rapidly requiring more socially-responsible options across all aspects of their travel programs,” said Bev Heinritz, general manager of GetThere. “Our relationship with ETG represents the next logical step for GetThere as we strive to facilitate cost-efficient green travel options for companies and their travellers.”