Super Shuttle will cease operations on December 31st, marking the end of an era. While I wish no ill will toward the displaced employees, I cannot say that I will miss the blue and yellow vans…
Since 1983, Super Shuttle has a offered a budget alternative to taxis, but with the rise of Uber and Lyft has simply been pushed out of the market by Darwinian natural selection (I use the term loosely). Some people still use film cameras and horse-drawn carriages, but Super Shuttle was approaching the same status.
Why pay (in some cases) more for a shared van that makes several stops than a private ride on Uber X? In almost all cases, Super Shuttle was more expensive than Uber pool or other ride-sharing pool services.
I used to use Super Shuttle on a semi-regular basis when I lived in Washington, DC. For early morning or late night flights out of Washington Dulles, Super Shuttle made a lot more sense than paying a crooked Washington Flyer taxi. But it was never a great experience. Driving to at least three other hotels was time consuming and it always seemed like I was picked up first or dropped off last.
On one Thanksgiving Day morning, my scheduled Super Shuttle never showed up. After waiting 15 minutes, I was forced to take a $95 taxi ride and almost missed my flight.
Thus, I’m thankful for Uber and Lyft. As unsustainable as those business models may be, they have completely changed the way I travel.
But there is sadness in this announcement too. Talk about a Christmas gift to the employees of Super Shuttle. Maybe some will start driving for Uber or Lyft. Hopefully all will find an equally or more fulfilling line of work.
Part of surviving in the U.S. economy depends upon anticipating trends. I routinely see the empty Super Shuttles at LAX. I see how few still use it and the desperation of some ground agents as they tried to solicit rides on the curb. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time. I’m quite sad to see this company close, but I won’t miss it…
Will you miss Super Shuttle?
image: Super Shuttle