Letter To A Chauffeur….

Letter

BostonCoach chauffeur, Chris DiFlumeri, was touched to get this very thoughtful letter from a young client. It was a good reminder of what a great business we’re in. It gives us the chance to do things like being part of a fun trip for this family. And we’re lucky to have wonderful clients who go out of their way to thank us!

Ensuring Safety Behind The Wheel

The Boston Herald just published Livery driver records a wreck, an article that describes the questionable driving histories of some car-service drivers. The car-service industry is loosely regulated and the sad truth is that there are some providers and drivers who should not be allowed to operate. The good news is that there are reputable companies that take the time to perform background checks on their staff and invest in training their drivers and chauffeurs. Knowing what to look for when choosing a car-service provider is your best defense against shady operators.

Whether you’re looking for an airport transfer, event transportation or car service for a single executive, safety should be your foremost concern. We want you to know that it’s ours, too. To help consumers choose car-service providers who emphasize safety, we’ve compiled a list of questions we think every customer should ask before they book car service.

We hope that by sharing these tips, we can help empower customers to expect, and receive, more from their ground transportation provider.

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BostonCoach’s Manny Pereira Drives “Everything with Wheels”

MannyPereira Location: Everett

Years of service: 8 years this July

How did you get started with BostonCoach?

I started at BostonCoach as a sedan driver. I came in part-time, then I learned I liked the system so I switched to working here full-time. Then, because I saw the opportunity and I had my CDL (commercial driver’s license), they asked me to start driving buses. Now I drive everything here that has wheels on it.

I’ve been a driver for a long time. I used to work at Hertz Rental and did a little bit of everything there. Then in 1999, I started my own limousine business. I had a friend who was doing really well driving limos so we worked together. After 9/11, business became more difficult and I only operated a few cars. That’s when I switched over to working with BostonCoach. I liked the benefits and better opportunities that were here.

What do you do to make sure every client has a great experience?

I will be on time, of course. I always get in earlier and leave for pick-ups earlier so I can scout out the area, do a dry run, and then I always show up 15 minutes before the pick-up time.

What do you enjoy most about being a chauffeur?

I like that we meet different people and we go to a different place every time. I like the challenge of going to new places. You never go to the same location.

What’s your most memorable experience as a BostonCoach chauffeur?

Just yesterday, I was out driving and I saw another one of our chauffeurs broken down. I recognized the car and pulled over to help him out. He had a flat and I told him what to do, and I also took his passenger and brought him back to his hotel. The customer said, “I’m glad you were here.”

What’s your advice to new chauffeurs/drivers?

Be on time. Come into work a little earlier than your pick-up time, no matter what. You will have to check your car, the oil, etc. This gives you extra time.

Best tip for everyday drivers:

Keep your distance — keep your eye on your surroundings. Don’t tailgate. Just drive slow.

Personal / hobbies:

I like to go camping in the summer. We go to the New York lakes or we go to Pine Acres. I like the great outdoors and seeing nature and what God created and what we came here for. When you’re camping, you’re with your family and you can enjoy time with them. There’s no snow and no cold — just enjoying nature.

 

BostonCoach Driver Mike Davis Has Kept the Beat for 17 Years

Mike DavisPosition with Boston Coach: Driver and former chauffeur

Years with BostonCoach: 17

Location: Everett

How did you get started with BostonCoach? What’s your professional background?

I responded to a radio advertisement at the time. I had never been anything like a professional driver — I had a varied background. Life circumstances led me here, so I came in and the interviewers said, “You don’t have to have experience as a driver; we’re just looking for good people.” For school, I went to the Conservatory of Music. I was a piano/keyboard major. My degree was in performance and mostly classical music. I taught a lot of private lessons for a while, including music at a secondary schooI. I taught ages 6-60 and beyond.

What do you do to make sure every client has a great experience?

I was a chauffeur here for 12 years. When  you’re a chauffeur, you have the more formal, one-on-one interaction. When you drive a shuttle bus, like I do now, you’re dealing with a group of people. You fling open the door and everyone piles on with their coffees and everything. What’s very important in the bus is the comfort of the ride — if you don’t pay attention to turns, people can go flying. My thing is to greet people as they enter the bus and say goodbye as they leave. Some people prefer to be more personable and talk to me.

What did you enjoy most about being a chauffeur and enjoy now as a driver?

As a chauffeur, you sometimes go to various places out of state — that can be really enjoyable. With driving the buses, I think the enjoyability is actually the sameness. It’s very predictable and, when other things are on your mind, it’s a solid thing. Boston is a beautiful city — I work out of the World Trade Center. I try not to miss opportunities to look out over the water and enjoy the city.

What do you like about BostonCoach?

I think that there is a strong feeling of camaraderie in the employee sector — the worker bees. When I came for the interview, I figured I would be here a few months. I recall telling someone, “They keep giving you more stuff and making it harder for you to leave.”

What’s your most memorable experience as a BostonCoach chauffeur/driver?

The most memorable moments were driving celebrities in sports or entertainment — people who really impressed me. Carlton Fisk is just the greatest guy in the world. I once drove Diana Rigg, a Shakespearean-trained British actress, who was on one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. Back then she was everyone’s heartthrob, really elegant. I was so nervous when I picked her up. It was raining so I had an umbrella and she came out and I almost poked her with the umbrella as I opened it. And she was so gracious and she said “Very well done.” I spoke to her in the car. She was beautifully gracious.

What’s your advice to new chauffeurs/drivers?

Don’t hit anything! Whatever you do. Don’t hit anything or anybody. Pay attention to the training.

What’s a tip for everyday drivers?

Learn what your particular weakness is. 

What do you do when you’re not working?

I still like to play my instruments — keyboard and drums — and sit on the deck in the sun. Pretty simple.

 

Safety First Is the Rule for All BostonCoach Chauffeurs

Limousine with driverBostonCoach believes in safety first for all of our clients. Our training program, which includes over 50 hours of classroom and road instruction, is the most rigorous in the industry. Our chauffeurs are trained according to the Smith System® 5 Keys.

Smith System is the leading provider of collision avoidance driver training. The 5 Keys are as follows:

  1. Aim High In Steering – Looking further ahead than other drivers
  2. Get The Big Picture – Seeing more around you than other drivers
  3. Keep Your Eyes Moving – Being more aware than other drivers
  4. Leave Yourself An Out – Maintain better positioning in traffic than other drivers
  5. Make Sure They See You – Making yourself more visible than other drivers

These basic principles of being aware of your surroundings and thinking ahead dramatically cuts down on road incidents.

BostonCoach takes great pride in the “safety first” mentality and professionalism of our chauffeurs and drivers.

BostonCoach’s Narine Ragoonanan Says Driving Is Just Part of His Nature

BostonCoach RGB Logo_180x180@72Years of service with BostonCoach: 19

Location: Everett, Massachusetts

How did you get started with BostonCoach? 

I was new to the area, so while at the bank I asked about any local job openings. I am a cook, so they suggested I take the BostonCoach shuttle to the World Trade Center and ask about opportunities there. I never got off the bus! I asked the driver, Jimmy, how I could get a job like his. He told me about BostonCoach, so I went to their office in Everett. Nineteen years later, I am still here, working as a shuttle driver on the Boston College route.

What do you do to make sure every client has a great experience?

I take my job very seriously and I treat everyone respectfully.

What do you enjoy most about being a driver?

I couldn’t see myself in an office; I like to move around. It’s in my nature to drive. I also enjoy talking with people. And being on the same route, you get to know some of the people pretty well. One time I even gave one of my regular customers some blueberries when he got on the bus really hungry because he’d missed lunch!

It is also very rewarding when clients ask for me by name. They really value what I do, and that makes me feel good.

What’s your most memorable experience as a BostonCoach driver?

Many years ago, when the Everett headquarters was smaller, I was very close to the managers. We were like family. We had potluck lunches where I would bring in mango nectar for everyone; they loved it! We were very close and had a great affection for each other.

What’s your advice to new drivers?

New drivers should apply themselves to their jobs. You need to use discretion and remember safety first.

Best tip for everyday drivers:

Let the aggressive drivers go ahead. Don’t bring anxiety upon yourself by constantly jockeying to get in front. You will still get where you have to go, and you’ll be in a much better frame of mind when you get there.

Personal/hobbies:

I go to temple, I spend time with my family and I cook (I was a head cook in Baltimore many years ago). Philosophy is also a passion of mine and I read up on it extensively.

Narine exemplifies the passion and commitment that BostonCoach has for its clients. He really loves his job and he is not afraid to show it. 

 

On The Road With BostonCoach’s Jean Conde

IMG_9718Years of service with BostonCoach: 13

Location: Everett, Massachusetts

How did you get started with BostonCoach? 

I was recruited through my church back in 1999. I had been a taxi driver for three years, so this was a perfect fit for me. I started as a chauffeur, driving sedans, then made the transition to vans. I then decided to pursue my commercial driver’s license (CDL), which allowed me to drive buses. BostonCoach provided the training I needed, and I have been shuttling Fidelity employees to and from work ever since.

What do you do to make sure every client has a great experience?

“Always have a smile” is my motto. I always make sure to greet my passengers with a simple “Good morning” and wish them “Good night” when I drop them off at the end of the day. It’s all about the little personal touches.

What do you enjoy most about being a driver?

I really like driving. And with a regular route, I always know what to expect. It’s great to have a personal connection with your passengers; they all know me by name.

What’s your most memorable experience as a BostonCoach driver?

BostonCoach is a good place to work. Everyone is so friendly; it’s a family atmosphere. And as the day winds down, I often find myself in a one-on-one conversation with the last remaining passenger. That’s what makes every day memorable.

What’s your advice to new drivers?

Take your job seriously. Be sure to be friendly, focused and professional to your customers. It’s all about that personal connection.

Best tip for everyday drivers:

Being a bus driver, I know how aware and careful you have to be when you are backing up. Most accidents occur when you are going in reverse. Be sure to always check for traffic behind you and be extra-cautious regarding your blind spots. Being thorough and safe has paid off for me; I’m approaching 30,000 hours without an accident. *Knocks on wood*

Family facts/favorite hobbies:

I like to spend time with my wife and my two boys, who aren’t really boys anymore; they’re 21 and 19 years old. And my father sometimes visits me from Florida.

After meeting Jean, it’s easy to understand why he loves his job and why he’s so highly thought of by colleagues and passengers alike. We are glad to have him as part of the BostonCoach family.

On The Road With BostonCoach’s Steve Andrews

Steve_Andrews[1]

Years of service with BostonCoach: One year and one month

Location: Everett, Massachusetts

How did you get started with BostonCoach?

A friend who knew I was looking for a new opportunity mentioned BostonCoach, so when I opened the newspaper and saw an ad for chauffeurs, I figured I’d check it out. I attended an information session and was extremely impressed with the emphasis on quality and service and the thoroughness of the training, both in the classroom as well as on the road.

What do you do to make sure every client has a great experience?

Always be prepared, for any weather, any traffic or any situation. That preparation starts with coming to work in the right frame of mind, so no matter what happens, you’re able to stay positive and deliver exceptional customer service. A great client experience is about more than just the ride.

What do you enjoy most about being a chauffeur?

The fact that I never know what the day is going to bring. Every day is different, and that keeps it fresh. Shortly after I started, I was waiting to be assigned a ride when I noticed a veteran chauffeur get pulled off his scheduled assignment because he was needed to cover an extremely important last-minute ride for a high-profile client. I remember thinking that a year from now, I want to be that “go-to guy” — the one they turn to for rides that have to go perfectly. BostonCoach really fosters that feeling of taking pride in providing outstanding quality.

What’s your most memorable experience as a BostonCoach chauffeur?

An hours-long ride with a well-known actress, some of her friends, and her dog. The client and her friends were extremely warm, friendly and inclusive. When they went to dinner, I “babysat” the dog since it wasn’t allowed in the restaurant. It was a fun night.

What’s your advice to new chauffeurs?

Even though I’ve been with BostonCoach for over a year, I still remember what it feels like to be new. So I tell all the new chauffeurs the same thing: If there’s something you’re not sure about, ASK. Even after 13 months, I still have situations come up where I check with the veteran chauffeurs about the best route to take for a ride, etc.

Best tip for everyday drivers

When driving in Boston, don’t speed in the tunnels. I’ve seen a lot of people get pulled over because they assumed there’d be no one there in the middle of the night.

Family facts/favorite hobbies

I love sports and spending time with my family in New Hampshire, preferably on my boat or at my house by the lake.

‘Garage Time’ Chauffeur Hidden Fees Run Rampant, But Not Here

Most car services charge a fee to cover the costs of getting chauffeurs and vehicles from the garage to pick-up locations and then back after clients are dropped off. They call it “garage time.” Problem is, garage-time fees vary widely and add up quickly, making hourly or time-based rides expensive and almost impossible to estimate.

To make life easier  — and costs more predictable — BostonCoach uses a positioning charge to cover the same costs as garage time. The difference is, it’s a fixed fee you can count on. No surprises. The positioning charge applies to almost all time-based rides, but not to flat-rate transfers or to rides that cross service areas — Boston to Manhattan, for instance.