Driverseat believes that transportation is always changing. Embracing this notion, while leveraging a strong franchise brand, time-tested business systems, technology, and management tools to enhance the overall customer experience, will ensure continued success for years to come.
What started as primarily a designated driving and chauffeur service has now grown to include shuttle van services offered across 400 communities in two countries. Their goal is to “out-care” the competition, and every franchise owner has a driving passion to do just that. In Sault Ste Marie, your Driverseat Franchise Partners are Stephen Findlay and Jeannette Adderley.
“We joined Driverseat in 2013 after talks with co-founder Luke Bazely at a wedding in 2012,” says Stephen. “Luke was from the Sault, so we had an immediate connection and an established level of trust. As the needs of our community shifted from chauffeuring people’s vehicles to requiring more of shuttle van services in 2020, we decided to put our vans on the road to accommodate airport, cross-border, and corporate shuttles to remote worksites, while adding a larger van to handle the increase in student and event transportation requests.”
Stephen and Jeannette were attracted to Driverseat’s corporate culture, high level of training, and forward-thinking from the head office.
“Sometimes companies just maintain the status quo, but not Driverseat,” confirms Stephen. “We are on board with a lot of tech, knowledge and data-sharing, while being keenly interested in transit and microtransit opportunities to support smaller and mid-sized communities. We are very engaged in the transit space and were recently shortlisted (in a highly competitive field of over 30 vendors, including some very large tech companies) for a contract to manage Niagara Falls’ transit system.”
Not just anyone can drive for the brand. There is a very strict vetting policy to ensure the safe, reliable, and professional drivers (called “chauffeurs”) are taking care of clients and becoming great ambassadors of the Driverseat brand.
“Most of our chauffeurs have been with us for several years,” notes Stephen. “We are really proud of the fact that our team loves helping out the community. The expansion into the shuttle – and hopefully transit space – will provide opportunities for continued growth for our team members.”
The duo love what they do. “What’s not to love?” smiles Stephen. “As a locally-owned and operated business, we have a lot of autonomy in our daily decision-making. Transportation is not always one-size fits all, and Driverseat’s corporate team is always there to provide decision-making support based on our local environment. We love the flexibility and openness in this franchise system. Transportation is always changing, always interesting, and you meet a lot of great people.”
In addition to providing designated driving, shuttle, and chauffeur services, Driverseat is invested in giving back. Driverseat Sault Ste. Marie provided chauffeurs at cost to help the United Way’s Harvest Algoma program deliver food boxes during COVID shutdowns. They have also worked with Thrive Child Development Centre to transport a client when conventional transportation was unavailable.
Both Driverseat and the Sault Ste Marie location have been awarded and recognized numerous times for outstanding work.
“We were the runner up for the local Algoma Visionary Game Changer Award in 2018,” says Stephen. “Locally, we are regularly the top transportation company in the Readers’ Choice award and were franchise of the year in 2014 and 2016. We won Paint the Town Orange marketing awards in 2015 and 2018.”
Stephen and Jeannette thank their team of dedicated chauffeurs and the community for their continued support. They also thank the great team from head office for their incredible vision in launching and growing the company. “The owners grew a world-class brand in such a competitive space and have done something amazing in a such a short time.”
Driverseat has plans to continue to grow and expand services locally and regionally. Stephen and Jeannette, your local Driverseat Franchise Partners, look forward to continuing to transport you safely while working on other transportation and transit projects throughout the region.
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