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Supershuttle going out of business

I know some people use Supershuttle in the U.S. and overseas. As of Dec 31, the blue vans will no longer be operating as the company is shutting down. They blame Uber and Lyft.

Posted by
2586 posts

I’m sorry to hear this. Many people in our former town would use Supershuttle for the 2 hour ride to our nearest international airport. Uber and Lyft didn’t provide this economical long distance help.

Posted by
3436 posts

The already left my home town airports a couple months ago.

An investment company bought them and sold off the vans at several Texas airports already, the rest will follow after this month end. At the airports where they were required to pay for a slot to be able to park and pick up riders they are auctioning off the spot. They are making more money off liquidating the assets than they were carrying passengers.

I will miss the option of using them because they were convenient and more affordable than taxis or Uber/Lyft.

Oh and the price of rental cars has already gone up approximately 20% in Texas where they are no longer offering their service.

Posted by
1563 posts

While we did use Uber several times on a recent trip to Washington DC, we used Supershuttle for our airport transport. Sorry to hear this.

Posted by
5184 posts

That's a shame. Supershuttle has been the only lower-cost way to get from our suburban airport to the business areas of the city.

Posted by
3144 posts

No matter whom they choose to blame, they need to look at a mirror if they are being honest.

The reason they’re going out of business is because they are grossly unreliable.

Bye bye & good riddance.

Posted by
23890 posts

Too bad.

Many a fair dollar did I make when driving the blue vans around the LA area many many years ago.

I had a great time, 95% of the time - the rest invariably caused by passengers having forgotten how to say no to the next glass or the next bottle of alcohol - no matter if it was in or out of LAX or Orange County or Burbank, or into the South Bay or West Hollywood.

My best day was taking 3 foreigners to Hollywood from LAX and watching their faces as their image of Hollywood melted.

I was always on time, efficient, helpful and friendly.
That's a shame....

Posted by
1175 posts

I abandoned them years ago for their exceedingly poor customer service.

I live about 20-25 minutes max from the closest airport. Yet I would have to get a shuttle 5 hours before my flight.

Many times I had a reservation for my return trip. Once I was refused because the shuttle was full of impromptu passengers (I stood there as they let them on). Once the driver refused to take me home because the shuttle wasn’t full. He told me I had to wait another 3 hours at the airport. Mind you, this was with confirmed reservations!!

I had to take a taxi home on both occasions. The price was only $10 more and I got direct service.

Good riddance. Super Shuttle, you did it to yourself.

Posted by
3436 posts

they are grossly unreliable.
poor customer service.

Are we talking about the same company? While I only used them in a very limited number of cities, they have never left me without a ride in the 20 or so years I used them. They may have occasionally been 10 - 15 minutes late picking me up from the scheduled time, but they always showed up and I always got to my destination on time. Even if I was the only person in the van, I got a ride. The ride bookers at the airports, while I will not say were the friendliest people around, were efficient and provided me with accurate pickup time when I just walked up and purchased a ride.

Maybe it was this inconsistent customer experience that helped to end them.

Posted by
2356 posts

My last experience was in a crowded van that was 40 minutes late departing from SMF. Then proceeding to drop the passengers (two of which had the wrong hotel address) with me being the last drop off. What should have been a 45 minute trip was 3 hours plus. This is a business model that has been eclipsed by ride share and never evolved to meet a competitive challenge. In the graveyard where they belong.

Posted by
1175 posts

Are we talking about the same company? While I only used them in a very limited number of cities, they have never left me without a ride in the 20 or so years I used them.

You might want to consider gender here. I was a younger female at the time of my experiences. Sorry to say, but people tend to blow off young women far more than men. We are expected to suck it up in order to “be nice”. On many occasions I was treated differently than my male peers during business travel. Requesting that I be treated the same often earned me “how dare you” looks.

Also consider that perhaps you beat the odds.

I also want to echo Alan’s 3+ hour drop off when the shuttle actually met me.

I do note that Super Shuttle has a rating from 1.9-2.6 on review sites. So I’m not alone.

Anyway, I stopped giving them money back in the 90s.

Posted by
1300 posts

Old room-mates of mine were drivers and dispatchers for SuperShuttle, but I also stopped using them much after 9/11 not just because of the crazy lead time they insisted for pickups and the inconsistent service but also because of an incident where I was put in a van going from SFO to Union Square during rush hour when my dropoff was in the East Bay -- it was a 3 hour trip that should have been 45 minutes. And I was not a young shy woman, either. By the time we dropped off the people in SF, I had put together dining tips and sightseeing for their whole visit itinerary and explained the traffic patterns to the driver several times over.

Posted by
12137 posts

It's a real pity.

When I now go out to the airport, SFO or OAK, I take the underground train, BART, regardless of its good, bad, and the ugly aspects, if I don't get a ride from the Mrs. Returning, likewise. Uber is not an option, neither is Lyft. Taking the taxi is another viable option if we have to leave prior to 5:30 am.

Prior to BART going out to SFO, I took Supershuttle when traveling solo, domestic or international. Other US cities: I took Supershuttle or the specific hotel shuttle if available.

Posted by
3487 posts

Sad to hear that news. I was a happy customer of theirs for several years. I used to fly down to San Diego each month to work with the Carlsbad team. I rarely had to wait 15 minutes before we would leave the airport. The majority of Super Shuttle drivers were very cordial; I was always the last stop since Carlsbad was on the border of their coverage. Heading back to the airport, they were prompt, and I’d just have time for a snack before boarding.

Luckily, I rarely needed to take the Shuttle Express at Seattle, coming back home because they were predictably SLOW if it was an airport-to-home ride (fine going the other direction).

Posted by
141 posts

They left me hanging twice (each time, never bothered to call and let me know they canceled my shuttle). So I’m not surprised they went out. Sounds like some locations were more reliable than others, but definitely not the ones I used!

Posted by
3436 posts

Never claimed they were fast at getting me home from the airport. I was unlucky enough to always live at the farthest end of their routes and would arrive at peak time for them. Yes, it often took 2 + Hours to reach my house. But when I was poor, money was more valuable than time to me. For the $20 shuttle ride, I got home soon enough. I also had fun conversations with many of the other customers during the ride, something I never have had in a taxi with only the driver there. The $100 cab ride of course would have been faster, but at five times the cost of the shuttle did not make economic sense to me at the time. I always took a taxi when work was paying.

Super Shuttle had many negatives to its business model. They did make some improvements (this was at the airports I flew through YMMV). Like not waiting for a completely full van before leaving the airport. In the past couple years, Houston started using smaller vans at off peak times (4 passenger instead of 8) which also reduced the wait time. The drivers also had better attitudes than in the distant past. They even had a system in place which allowed you to track your van and see how close they were to picking you up (very helpful when they were running a bit late). Still, other ride share systems appear to have provided better service than Super Shuttle was capable of, at least if they are going where you need to be.

Posted by
329 posts

Oh, no. I have a trip to Arizona planned in January. I used Supershuttle there last year, with no issues at all. Now my options are really limited. I don't use ride sharing services and don't plan to start.

I guess a taxi will be my only option to get from Phoenix to Scottsdale now. Ugh.

Posted by
2356 posts

BB, we are in our 70’s and use Uber and Lyft extensively. Get with it, it works! And since our daughter and family live in PHX we use it a lot and it’s smooth.

Posted by
1109 posts

Goodbye and good riddance. I can’t even tell you the times they’ve messed up over the years.

One trip, when I was still fairly young and living at home, they were banging on the door two hours early for a 6 AM airport ride. Was still eating, had to wake family for a quick goodbye kiss and run.

How many times did they abandon me or tell me it was the wrong van when I was at an airport trying to get to my hotel? I can’t count the times and that meant long phone calls trying to get them to reverse the charge for a prebooked van, and then had to usually call the credit card company.

Sorry that the 21st century happened.

Posted by
526 posts

Capitalism is a you know what. Companies that adapt survive. Companies like Sears that don't adapt die. Good riddance to them. Terrible company and terrible service. You have to give the customer what they want or you will die. Now if we could get rid of comcast.

Posted by
6921 posts

I'm sorry for the drivers, so many of them struggling immigrants. I hope they not only land on their feet but are able to make a better living. They are really squeezed by this company.

Posted by
329 posts

Thank you, Alan. However, I choose not to use ride sharing for a number of reasons.

  1. I don't allow apps/companies to store my credit card information.

  2. A rideshare driver (Lyft?) recorded our mayor without his knowledge or consent, and then the recording was shared by Uber, who didn't like the ridesharing regulations he tried to implement in Calgary (regulations I agreed with). Anyway, it is absolutely, 100% NOT OKAY with me that a driver might secretly record me and then share the recording. This is the main reason I will never use Lyft.

  3. I am a terrible passenger. I hate being driven. It makes me really nervous, especially if the driver speeds or follows other vehicles too closely. If I have to be driven, I want to know that the driver does it regularly for a living and is motivated to maintain his job and isn't someone just trying to pick up a few extra bucks here and there. And, for some reason, I feel less nervous on a bus or a shuttle, at the best of times.

  4. I'm an introvert and do not want to have to chat with a random stranger who is driving me someplace. This can happen with a taxi, too, of course, but I understand that, with ridesharing, the driver would be rating me as a passenger, and I don't want my reluctance to make small talk to cause me bad ratings.

  5. If I'm travelling, I don't usually have my cell phone turned on, as roaming services cost a lot. Using ridesharing apps generally requires data.

Therefore, I have no interest in using ridesharing services.

Posted by
501 posts

This is a big loss for those who used it and relied upon it.
If you don’t use it or haven’t used it for 20 yrs not sure why your commenting. You’ve already spoken and stop using the service. Let those who will miss it morn a bit.

Posted by
1175 posts

If you don’t use it or haven’t used it for 20 yrs not sure why your commenting

Because we are giving reasons for why we walked away. For most of us it was after numerous bad experiences. And loss of customers is the reason they are going out of business. They’ve had 20 years to correct the problem but didn’t.

Posted by
1175 posts

BB - many hotels will provide airport pickup. You just arrange it ahead of time.

Posted by
329 posts

Thanks, Cindy. Unfortunately, the place I'm does not, and, as I'm attending workshops there, choosing a different hotel isn't practical.

Posted by
1175 posts

BB - several at my Rick Steves travel group recommended Rome 2 Rio. It is both a website and an app.

I looked up up Phoenix to Scottsdale and it has several options (including bus). They recommend a shuttle service called Jayride.

Rome2Rio - Scottsdale

Just put in your hotel address.

BTW - the taxi cost isn’t too bad...

Posted by
23890 posts

That's the second time in 10 minutes I have seen the name Jayride mentioned. The other one was in the thread of the retired flight attendant who just got back with her partner from a short trip.

She said some pretty negative things about Jayride.

I'd never heard the name until 10 minutes ago.

Her post is https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/france/should-i-pre-book-in-country-transportation-before-leaving-us
right at the bottom.

Posted by
1109 posts

Even hotels with an airport shuttle can be a bit iffy. Many times they service all the hotel chain’s properties and can take quite a while to get either to or from the airport. They can work well if a property is hosting a conference and there’s enough people to fill the van both ways and they don’t make any detours. My previous company had a clause written into the conference agreement that gave them the arrival and departure flights that most people were on and we got guaranteed use of the shuttle for those times.

Posted by
12137 posts

True, there have been times when Supershuttle's service was rather disappointing.

The last time was a few years ago in San Diego, had a morning flight to SFO, the Supershuttle arrival driver (made that appt. the night before) never showed up, called them up to ask what happened, went through this scene another 3 more times, still no shuttle showed up at the hotel regardless of their assurances By this time it was going on almost 2 hours. I was getting concerned about missing my plane.

I called again, this time I was talking to the 4th guy, told him so, ie where is the shuttle? The 4th guy came through, the shuttle showed up shortly after all that taxing experience.