Page 112 July 30, 2021 DAN’S PAPERS danspapers.com
EAST END LIVING
The Driving Force:
Blacklane Ups the East End Car Service Game
There are many options for traveling
to and from the Hamptons and the
North Fork, but arriving now is a new
chauffeur service that drives home the
fact that service is key.
Dr. Jens Wohltorf, co-founder and
CEO of Blacklane, a German-based
global chauffeur service, shared with
Dan’s Papers what sets the company
apart, how they strive to be environmentally
conscious, and what’s next on
the East End.
How did you get started in this
line of work?
I was a frequent traveler as a consultant,
and I experienced the pain of
business travel, especially with rides.
Chauffeur guests received inconsistent
standards, booking processes, invoicing
and terms and conditions. On the
other side of the business, chauffeurs
had open seats all day long that needed
to be filled.
With my friend and co-founder
Frank Steuer, we decided to start the
first global chauffeur service. We knew
we could help both sides. We gave
guests a consistent premium experience,
guaranteed all-inclusive fares
and 24/7 customer service. At the
same time, we gave chauffeurs rides
from our global customer base, providing
them a new revenue stream.
What sets your company apart
from the competition?
Blacklane was born to bring consistency,
reliability and better fares to
global chauffeur service. We devote
our entire focus to high-quality chauffeured
rides around the world.
We combine the best of the legacy
limo world and the ride-hailing industry.
We maintain the high service
and premium vehicles that define the
chauffeur industry. But we cut their
prices in half and created a simple way
to book on our website and app.
We also bring the ease of use of
ride-hailing. It takes seconds to book
a Blacklane. Guests then get the safety
and assurance of top-quality vehicles
and professional chauffeurs, and the
global quality that comes with them.
On top of all that, we are a carbonneutral
organization. We were the first
ride service to offset emissions of all
rides and business operations worldwide,
starting in 2017.
Can you elaborate on some of
the services you provide?
Our main services are airport transfers,
DR. JENS WOHLTORF, BLACKLANE CEO & CO-FOUNDER
city-to-city rides and chauffeur
Airport transfers are the biggest
part of our business, due to our reliability
and the importance of comfort
and discretion when people travel.
However, the pandemic revealed that
we needed to diversify our business to
have more non-airport rides.
So we used the pandemic to innovate.
Our customers’ average distance
traveled doubled once lockdowns began.
It was clear that people needing
reliable long-distance service trusted
us. The next step was creating flat-rate
trips between two places. We have
hundreds of routes in 32 countries,
and the New York-Hamptons service is
Chauffeur hailing was our next innovation.
We brought on-demand rides
to New York so guests could enjoy our
quality and service for short distances.
What new trends are you seeing
in the industry?
Sustainability is increasingly important.
People want to minimize their
environmental impact and use likeminded
services. We’re proud of our
record of sustainability and our future
plans. Most recently, we signed The
Climate Pledge, started by Amazon
and Global Optimism, and targeted
75% of rides to be in electric vehicles
What unique issues do you face
operating on the East End?
The obvious variable is that Hamptons
business is so seasonal. For one,
summers are packed—even more this
year when international travel is limited.
For two, demand ebbs and flows
based on the days of the week, with
many people spending only long weekends
before returning to the city.
We expect the rise of home office and
remote work to increase non-summer
business. We saw that during the pandemic
when many workers had to work
from home. With so many companies
allowing flexible work arrangements,
we’ll see more rides the rest of the
Competition also is unique here.
This is a rare location where people
can pay for service by bus, train, helicopter,
ride-hailing and chauffeur, or
drive themselves in their own car or a
rental. Therefore, we need to strongly
differentiate and focus on what makes
us unique: Reliable, safe and top-quality
service at affordable rates.
Is there anything else you want
New York-Hamptons rides have set
a high bar for our city-to-city service.
Guests appreciate the consistency, cost
certainty and ability to relax the moment
they get in the car. We’re also
seeing guests use us again when they
need an airport transfer, to get peace
of mind for their first post-lockdown
We combine the best of the legacy
limo world and the ride-hailing
industry. We maintain the high
service and premium vehicles that
define the chauffeur industry.