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What Is Alto Rideshare & How It It Different Than Others?

While Uber and Lyft are by far the most popular ridesharing services around, Alto stands out as a luxury alternative for riders who want a safer and more comfortable experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Alto is a luxury ridesharing service with W-2 employed, professionally trained drivers.
  • Features branded white Buick Enclaves with high safety ratings and comforts like captain’s chairs and phone chargers.
  • Alto’s services are available in select U.S. cities, including Dallas, Houston, LA, D.C., and Miami.
  • Priced higher than standard rideshare services, Alto emphasizes quality and consistency.

What Is Alto Rideshare?

Alto Rideshare is a premium rideshare service that distinguishes itself from traditional ridesharing companies by offering an “elevated” experience akin to a black car service.

Its focus is not only on transporting customers from one place to another but also on providing a luxurious and high-quality journey.

Unlike typical ridesharing apps, Alto employs its drivers as W-2 employees, ensuring they undergo thorough interviews, background checks, and training.

This approach contributes to a more ethical business model, as drivers receive proper wages and health insurance.

Additionally, Alto equips its drivers with specially outfitted Buick Enclaves, designed to enhance passenger comfort and convenience.

Alto Rideshare combines the luxury and service level of traditional black car services with the ease and accessibility of modern ridesharing apps, aiming to offer a unique and superior travel experience.

How Does Alto Rideshare Work?

Using Alto to get you to your next destination couldn’t be easier.

All that is required is to download the app from either the App Store or the Google Play Store. You’ll then have the option to either make an account and become a member or simply sign up for the guest service.

Once this is done, you’re ready to order a ride on demand or pre-schedule one.

This can be done via the app’s homepage. If it is your first time using the Alto app, there’s no need to stress as the app interface is extremely well laid out; it’s very easy to navigate to where you need to be in the app as everything is clearly labeled.

What Makes Alto Stand Out?

For one, Alto is the first ridesharing service to have all its drivers classified as W-2 employees, who are background checked, interviewed, and professionally trained.

This is a game-changer in the ridesharing industry, as it means that Alto’s full-time drivers are trained professionals you can trust.

You can also ride in one of Alto’s 500-strong sleek fleet of company-maintained, branded white Buick Enclaves.

Each SUV is 5-star crash-rated, equipped with captain’s chairs, and has three types of outlets for phone chargers so you can juice up your devices.

As insured vehicles, Alto drivers can pick you up at the curbside at major airports without waiting at the lot. Alto also has longer wait times than other services.

Still, you won’t find Alto rides everywhere across the country, as they’re only available in Dallas, Houston, LA, D.C., and Miami. Alto plans to launch more operations in the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Unique Features of Alto

Alto is unlike any other app, as it has some incredible features that set it apart from the competition. Here are some of the key unique features of the service that other companies such as Uber and Lyft do not have:

1. Vehicle Standards

Alto employs an extremely high standard of vehicle safety. Each company vehicle is an SUV that has received a 5-star crash rating.

The cars are regularly maintained by Alto to ensure they are in perfect shape to ensure passenger and driver safety.

2. Driver Training

Unlike other companies, Alto drivers go through a rigorous training program to ensure they provide the best service possible!

You can be confident that your Alto driver has proven themselves to be a safe and efficient driver and has received all the training necessary to ensure you don’t encounter any trouble on the road when driving with Alto.

3. Passenger Control

The Alto app allows passengers to completely customize their ride.

From music, conversation, and even air temperature, the passengers are in total control when riding with Alto! There’s even a “do not disturb” option for those who are looking for a completely silent ride.  

Safety and Security Measures

Safety is becoming an increasing issue in the ridesharing industry, which is why it’s Alto’s number one priority.

The company has rigorous safety measures in place to ensure that all passengers can feel comfortable and at ease when in an Alto car.

One of the key safety measures Alto takes is the rigorous interview and background check they require all drivers to go through before being allowed on the road.

This includes fingerprint checks and a thorough examination of the candidates before they are admitted to the Alto team.

Additionally, all drivers are monitored in real-time when giving a ride, so you can be confident that every measure is in place to keep you safe!

The other key safety measure is Alto’s commitment to ensuring their fleet of cars is of the highest standard possible.

All cars are owned by Alto and have been through numerous crash and safety checks. Alto regularly services them to make sure they do not have any unknown issues that could jeopardize driver or passenger safety.

Pricing Structure of an Alto Ride

The Alto pricing structure is fairly straightforward to understand. The pricing of Alto puts it somewhere between UberX and Uber Black, making it a good choice if you are looking for a high value-for-money service!

Several factors go into the price of an Alto ride.

Firstly, there is a base fare, which differs depending on whether you are a member or a non-member.

For example, members in Washington DC pay a $5.50 base fare per ride while non-members pay $7. Additionally, there is an 18% surcharge on all ride fees that acts as a service charge.

On top of this is the “per minute fee” which can vary based on whether you are a member or not, the area that you are in, and if the ride was pre-scheduled.

Furthermore, you can expect to pay a “per mile fee” as well which varies based on the distance of your trip.

If you do want to be a member, you can either pay a monthly fee of $12.95 or an annual fee that works out to $8.50 a month.

Membership saves you around 30% per ride, which can be quite a significant discount if you are regularly using the app!

Check out the Alto website here if you want more information on how Alto calculates its fees.  

Alto’s Availability and Expansion Plans

Alto is a fairly new app compared to its counterparts, which means that it is only available in select areas.

Those who are in Miami, Washington DC, Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles can all enjoy Alto’s services.

This is rather limited, however, as the company is currently focussing on establishing itself and is building its reputation in larger cities in order to do so.

However, Alto is on a mission to change the face of ridesharing apps, so they will likely be expanding to more cities (and even countries) as soon as they can!

You can check out their press releases here to keep an eye out for their latest movements and be one of the first to know when they announce expansion into a new area.

What I Liked About My Experience With Alto

The biggest difference that I’ve noticed between Alto and other services like Uber and Lyft is the quality of cars. They are clean, comfortable, and consistent.

The drivers are also incredibly professional. When one picks you up, you can tell that they know what they’re doing. They’re courteous, helpful, friendly, and clearly well-trained.

Another small feature that I really liked about my experience was the fact that I could control the music and lighting during my ride.

I didn’t have to pay extra for this, like I would to get an Uber Comfort or Premium ride. This was just a feature that Alto offers as a standard comfort.

This was in addition to fresh water bottles and charging cables – both inside well-kept, clean vehicles.

What I Disliked About My Experience With Alto

It is clear that Alto stands above the rest, but this comes at a cost.

First, Alto costs more than other rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. This is to be expected, especially since the company markets themselves as a high-quality brand.

However, they are still affordable, being priced slightly less than Uber’s top-tier model.

Second, Alto is still very limited in their availability – both in terms of markets they operate in and hours of operation.

To me, this service makes sense for somebody that lives in one of Alto’s markets, in which they need consistent, reliable transportation.

It’s not so good for casual users who can’t maximize the benefits of a subscription.

Lastly, the wait times are longer than a typical rideshare service, and rides must be scheduled.

Unfortunately, there’s really no way around this. At the price the company offers rides for, there has to be a bit of give-and-take from both ends.

This gripe can be easily overcome with a little bit of planning. But if you’re looking for an on-demand rideshare solution, stick to Uber or Lyft.

Alto Customer Reviews and Testimonials

There’s a reason Alto is growing rapidly: users absolutely love the service! The app is racking up countless positive reviews and testimonials

One reviewer on the Apple App Store highlighted how wonderful the Alto drivers are, saying, “Every driver has been safe, kind and respectful…reminding me of the features of my ride as well as being wonderful to talk with.”

Customers have also picked up on the fact that Alto offers an elevated experience compared to some of the other most popular ride-sharing companies.

Kat, a user who left a review on Alto’s App Store page, said, “In LA Uber and Lyft have gotten so bad. Personally, I used to get really sick of the gross chemical air fresheners the Uber/Lyft drivers use … all Alto cars are freshened naturally. They smell great without the chemical residue stinking up your clothes. Also, you know how some Uber black cars show up and smell like cigarettes? Not here. So perfect, thank you!”

The love for Alto can also be seen in their Google Play reviews. A reviewer named Robert also loves Alto, saying, “We love Alto. So much more consistent and dependable than Uber. All the cars are clean and fresh-smelling. Drivers are polite and welcoming. I look forward to seeing them in more cities ASAP!” 

How to Get Started with Alto

Getting started with Alto is extremely simple and requires only a few steps before you’re able to book a ride.

The first step is to download the Alto app. Once this is done, you will be able to open the app where you will then create an account.

After you have created your account, you are ready to ride! For an on-demand ride, use the “ride” page on the app, and simply input your desired destination as well as your current address that you’d like to be picked up from into the provided spaces.

Then, press “confirm” and watch as your driver is dispatched and sent to you.

Using the relevant tabs, you can also ask a driver to pick up food from a local restaurant (or even a small package) and have it delivered to your house.

If you’d like to pre-book a ride, enter your pickup and drop-off location into the “Welcome” screen to view available booking times and book whichever is most convenient.

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for a ridesharing service that is elevated, efficient, and goes the extra mile to provide you with stellar service, Alto is the way to go!

Their commitment to safety and comfort sets them apart and allows you to indulge in a luxurious experience without needing to pay a whole lot more than other apps.

 While it might not be as popular as other ridesharing apps, the service provided is unmatched and it’s likely only a matter of time before Alto becomes many people’s go-to service.

Next time you’re ordering a ride, check to see if Alto is available in your area and give the app a go!

Have you used Alto rideshare before? What did you think of the model? Let us know by dropping a comment below!

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