SAN FRANCISCO — iCARS, a web and mobile app technology platform that connects travelers and corporate clients to licensed and screened executive car service operators and chauffeurs, is planning a national expansion this year. The announcement coincides with the commencement of the 2016 Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention held July 16-20 in Denver, where iCARS is an exhibitor.
iCARS officially launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in early 2016 and has since launched in Austin, Dallas and Houston this summer. In the coming months, this growth will be followed by launches in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. The expansion of the iCARS network represents a key milestone for the corporate travel sector, which is growing exponentially. According to GBTA’s BTI Outlook – Annual Global Report & Forecast, global business travel spend topped $1.2 trillion USD in 2015, growing five percent over 2014, and is forecast to reach 1.3 trillion in 2016. iCARS is poised to meet this growing demand as reputable business travel professionals acknowledge the importance of using only the most trusted drivers and vehicles for all ground transportation needs.
“Travel professionals have long demanded safe and reliable transportation options and we’re thrilled with iCARS’ forthcoming national expansion,” said Gary Bauer, founder and CEO of iCARS. “iCARS provides a peace of mind for both executives and corporate travel professionals who book transportation for their employees. We are confident in the potential for growth in each respective market.”
In addition to near demand and future booking capabilities, iCARS enables third-party providers such as concierges, travel management companies and corporate travel administrators to book rides on behalf of any number of travelers, and entirely manage ground transportation itineraries as part of their duty of care obligations, making it ideal for usage within the business travel and hospitality industry.
The iCARS fleet is made up of Sedan Class, SUV Class and Sprinter Class vehicles. While the iCARS network encompasses each regional market’s leading transportation providers, iCARS only works with affiliates who operate insured vehicles driven by professional chauffeurs who meet all state and federal transportation regulations. iCARS can also accommodate “house car” services for the hotel partner’s discretionary use.
iCARS only partners with transportation companies that carry at least $1 million in commercial liability insurance, regularly maintain their vehicles, conduct random drug testing and background checks on their employees, provide driver training courses, fingerprinted employees, and pay employee benefits as required by their respective states.
iCARS has partnered with San Francisco Bay Area hotels, including Fairmont San Francisco, Hotel Nikko, Handlery Union Square Hotel, Inn at the Presidio and the W San Francisco.