As COVID-19 shut down cities across the world, longtime business partners and transportation industry veterans Steven Blom and Otto Ruys saw an opportunity to help keep people safe and cities moving. In April 2020, the two launched a new business, Driver Bubble, with a high demand product: a vehicle partition that separates drivers and passengers, while still allowing personal connections to be made.
When COVID-19 spread, Blom saw the number of rides slow and revenue fall in countries especially hit hard by the pandemic, like Italy. Hoping to prevent economic disaster for the transportation around the world, Blom found himself and his team asking “How can we help the taxi companies again to get back on the road and help getting people to hospitals or getting a father to their kids?” Driver Bubble launched a series of protective transparent, reliable screens that reduces the chance of disease transmission (and eases the fear of transmission) allowing drivers to get back on the road without feeling isolated from one another.
Driver Bubble’s screens are made of a polycarbonate material that is stronger than glass but can still bend in case of an accident. It covers 90% of the surface area between passengers and drivers, greatly reducing the potential for disease transmission. Because the screen is transparent, it allows passengers to still feel seen and acknowledged, while providing peace of mind for all in the vehicle.
Blom commends the essential work that transportation companies are providing around the world to allow people to access places like hospitals and grocery stores. He hopes that Driver Bubble can play its part in keeping people safe and the economy moving.
“To protect drivers and save lives while we do so, it’s so rewarding for us and for the market itself,” Blom said.
Blom and Ruys entered the transportation business over a decade ago, driven by the desire to create a more connected world.
“We don’t feel the connection [with other people] because we are always on the move,” Blom described. “Our dream is that we feel connection all the time, and that we are consciously aware of it all the time.”
His first introduction to the transportation field was through his creation of taxi rating and booking services that aimed to humanize drivers in the eyes of passengers. Through Blom’s business endeavors, he has since developed connections with many in the industry and has felt the hurt caused by the coronavirus pandemic personally.
Blom initially joined The Transportation Alliance after attending his first Expo in 2015 as a guest. While there, he saw how TTA opens up a whole new door for networking with top industry executives across the world. It wasn’t long after that first experience that Blom’s other business, Taxi Butler, became a TTA member. Through Taxi Bulter’s successful relationship with TTA membership, there was no hesitation in Blom’s mind that Driver Bubble needed to join TTA’s community.
On behalf of all of us at The Transportation Alliance, welcome Driver Bubble!
By: Lilly Wilcox