Essential Ground Connect
Essential Ground Connect provides Safe SUVs in the New York City area for individuals, businesses or communities in need of ground transport.
The service was originally launched by our MediMobility division to serve hospitals, including NYU Langone and Mount Sinai, helping to transport medical professionals and equipment.
These SUVs have been reconfigured with a plexiglass partition between the driver and passenger rows. An industry-leading Health and Safety Protocol, designed in collaboration with our Medical Advisor and hospital partners specifically for this moment in time, has also been implemented and includes:
- Temperature and oxygen level tests for all drivers prior to shift start
- All drivers are required to wear a mask and gloves at all times
- Electrostatic decontamination and hand cleaning of each vehicle between trips
- HEPA filtered climate control with elimination of recirculated air
- For a full list of Health and Safety protocols see the FAQ below
This Healthy and Safety protocol exceeds that of most car services and all rideshare services like Uber, which rely on a network of independent contractors to service rides, rather than employees. Unlike those services that are unable to mandate any safety, cleanliness, or hygiene procedures leading to potential passenger risk, BLADE's Essential Ground Connect provides uniformity in vehicles and driver training.
BLADE’s ‘safe SUVs’ are available now and can be booked by the hour for the rate of $65 per hour plus gratuity–a significant discount as compared to other private car services.
Essential Ground Connect for Business
As companies plan to reopen their offices in New York City, the health and safety of employees is paramount. Mitigating any fears and concerns employees may have about commuting to and from work is just as important. The companies and hospitals that use BLADE Essential Ground Connect (EGC) see the value in providing ground transportation that not only makes employees feel safe and comfortable but also demonstrates that management cares about potential concerns colleagues may have about returning to the workplace.
Typical business use cases include:
(i) Shared SUV ground transportation (max two passengers per vehicle) to shuttle employees between home and work
(ii) Standby vehicles pre-positioned at offices to enable immediate departure
(iii) Airport transfers
This program is available now and provides a great way for companies to differentiate from the competition. Retail pricing is $65 per hour plus gratuity with significant discounts available to companies making volume commitments. Please contact our corporate sales team here.
• Drivers are employed full-time by our transport partner, and are not “gig-economy” workers.
• Each driver is subject to a comprehensive daily protocol created by BLADE's Medical Advisor and conducted by our MediMobility team, including driver temperature and oxygen level tests, health update interview and electrostatic decontamination of the vehicle interior.
• We have the most comprehensive and rigid driver and vehicle safety, quality standards, and protocols in the industry.
• All drivers have been working with BLADE for at least one year.
Prior to start of their shift, each driver checks into the Essential Ground Connect staging area with a member of the MediMobility team to initiate health and safety protocol:
1. A BLADE MediMobilty team member conducts touchless temperature and oxygen level tests. This combination of body temperature and blood oxygen level tests represents the most reliable COVID screening possible. Each driver participates in a short interview and is being visually observed for any apparent health-related issues or signals (including hygiene).
2. If any issues arise as part of the temperature or oxygen level tests, observation process or interview, that driver is immediately referred to our Chief Medical Advisor’s team and is not able to begin his duty day.
3. The entire interior, window and other passenger-accessible controls in the vehicle are electrostatically decontaminated using an airline-grade fogging system.
4. Inside and outside touch-points, such as door handles, interior surfaces, seatbelts/buckles, windows and all other passenger-accessible controls are hand-cleaned by BLADE technicians.
5. All BLADE Essential Ground Connect SUVs are fitted with a custom plexiglass partition that separates the driver from passengers.
6. The driver and passengers have separate climate controls.
7. BLADE’s team ensures that all climate controls are adjusted to only utilize outside air rather than recirculated air.
8. Prior to release from staging area, driver must show that they have sufficient PPE (medical gloves, surgical masks, disinfectant, etc.) in stowage for their entire shift.
1. When drivers arrive at the pickup point, they wait outside the vehicle at a safe distance and ensure that passengers do not need to open or close the vehicle door.
2. When outside the vehicle, drivers wear protective gloves for opening doors and handling luggage.
3. No person is permitted to sit in the front-row passenger seat, and a plexiglass partition creates a physical barrier between the driver and the passengers.
4. BLADE confirms the first destination with the passengers and informs them how to adjust air temperature in the vehicle – all vehicles are permanently set to utilize outside air and never re-circulate air.
5. Prior to arrival at a destination, the driver informs the passengers that he/she will open the door for them and confirms that he/she has permission to remove the luggage from the rear storage compartment.
6. Booking and tracking of passengers is handled by the BLADE Logistics Team and the passenger’s BLADE app.
Essential Ground Connect was created for our hospital partners and medical professionals to ensure passenger safety, minimizing passenger touchpoints with vehicles and following rigid health and safety protocol. Vehicles are thoroughly sanitized before every shift, they do not recirculate air, always bringing fresh air from outside.
Unlike ridesharing services, Essential Ground Connect should be reserved ahead of time and may not be available on demand.
Essential Ground Connect is billed on an hourly basis, we’ll stop as many times as you need (to collect additional passengers and/or essential items). Wait time is part of the service–not a penalty.
Essential Ground Connect can be reserved for any trip under 350 miles from your original pickup location. Please note all trips must either originate in or have a final destination of Manhattan.
Yes, unless your SUV is already reserved by one of our hospital partners following your ride. Please notify your driver and text or call BLADE, and we will do our best to extend your trip for essential travel, based on availability.
Essential Ground Connect drivers wear protective gloves during all BLADE trips. If the passenger is comfortable, BLADE’s driver will load and unload passenger luggage. However if the passenger prefers to load and unload their own luggage, the driver will open the rear hatch door and allow for a safe distance for the passenger to load or unload their own luggage, ensuring as close to a contactless experience as possible.
Each of the SUVs in BLADE’s Essential Ground Connect fleet can accommodate 5 passengers comfortably in the two rows behind the protective partition that separates the driver from the rest of the vehicle.
• Trips within Manhattan cost $65/hour (minimum of one hour).
• Billing begins when the driver arrives at the pickup location.
• After one hour, trips are charged in 15-minute increments. The first hour ($65) is charged at the time of booking.
• After booking, we will send you an order confirmation.
Your driver will call you upon arrival. Please contact BLADE if you can't locate your vehicle. Your driver will wait without contact from you for up to thirty (30) minutes. After thirty (30) minutes without contact from you, your driver will leave and you will be charged a “no-show fee” of $65. Our Essential Ground Connect team is available 24/7. Feel free to reach call us at 844-FLYBLADE if you are unable to locate your vehicle and need further assistance.
You can book Essential Ground Connect 24/7 on the BLADE app. Please book ahead to reserve your vehicle as BLADE cannot guarantee vehicle availability.
For trips originating or ending outside Manhattan:
You may cancel and receive a credit card refund if you notify BLADE at least four hours before your scheduled pick-up time.
For trips inside Manhattan:
You may cancel and receive a credit card refund if you notify Blade at least one hour before your scheduled pick-up time.
For ASAP requests (inside or outside Manhattan):
Once your order is confirmed, it is non-refundable. BLADE Credits are not eligible for Essential Ground Connect.
No, all Essential Ground Connect trips must be paid for by credit card as the fees generated serve to pay for more trips for NYC hospitals without cost.
Yes, you can help NYC Hospitals by donating–please contact us at 844-FLYBLADE to use your accumulated BLADE credits to fund the transportation needs of medical professionals.