Rio San Juan/General Transportation Service - Question

slas7713

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Aug 9, 2004
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I am currently living state side with my Dominican wife, from Rio San Juan. She has decided to go into business with her brother on a very small, one vehicle for now, transportation service. He has obtained all the proper licensing and has bought a nice 8 passenger Toyota Sienna. Now generally speaking from my time living there (7 years), I've come to learn that sending money to the Dominican Republic is akin to throwing it down a deep dark well, but in this case I have a very high regard for her brother and his business acumen.

So here's my question: What's the best way to advertise this type of transportation services to the best target groups. By best target groups, and safest (in my mind) of course would be foreigners needing transportation from the various airports to areas on the North Coast. Including those flying into Santiago/Santo Domingo and staying on the North Coast, as I often have to do. And then offering daily transport services to those same groups while they are on the island. As available of course.

The obvious hope in any situation like this is to of course try and insulate the business/brother from dangerous situations. My wife just showed me a video of a Dominican taxista getting riddles with bullets from a couple of guys trying to rob him. Of course we all know life can be dangerous there in many occasions, and avoiding the obvious situations is a must.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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Word of mouth is your best bet... I think.

Spread the word at the ex-pat spots in RSJ... Cafe de Paris, French bakery, et al
The hotels can promote your wife/brother for arriving guests.

Having said that, there is a lot of competition already.
I have a man in Cabrera I use regularly.
 
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johne

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Jun 28, 2003
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Bullet points to consider:
> Lingo other than spanish speaking. English.French etc.
> Taxis sindicato. Very strong here in the southern tier.
> 15-18 hour service
> Customer service. How far will you extend yourself to get and hold a client
>Whatsapp contact list and how to build it
> Discounts for special groups and grumply ole men on DR1
> how much cash is there to promote key people that can steer ppl your way available.
> Finally...what will make You different.
 
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CristoRey

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Those routes are controlled by syndicates and unless he has connections with the right people...
Good luck.
 

JD Jones

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Those routes are controlled by syndicates and unless he has connections with the right people...
Good luck.
That's the area I had my transport van covering and it took them less than a week to figure out who he was and what he was doing.

My driver wouldn't go back there afterwards.
 
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CristoRey

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That's the area I had my transport van covering and it took them less than a week to figure out who he was and what he was doing.

My driver wouldn't go back there afterwards.
There were a few people murdered while I was living in Santo Domingo
for attempting to do something similar. Not worth the risk in my opinion.
 
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D'Arcy (Apostropheman)

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Apr 10, 2022
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Here and there
He'd be toast in a week or less.

Going back almost years there have been many gringos, even Spanish speaking and more or less Dominican looking guys who have tried to do things like airport pickups and offering their services as a driver. In each and EVERY case I know of, and there were a lot, they were quickly deterred, with threats of destroyed vehicles and death.
 

Jan

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So couldn't he join a taxi company and work for them when he wishes and do his own stuff on the side. I know many taxi guys who work for themselves and I have them pick up people at the airport and drive the tourists around and they don't have destroyed cars.
 

Fulano2

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Jun 5, 2011
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Europe
I am currently living state side with my Dominican wife, from Rio San Juan. She has decided to go into business with her brother on a very small, one vehicle for now, transportation service. He has obtained all the proper licensing and has bought a nice 8 passenger Toyota Sienna. Now generally speaking from my time living there (7 years), I've come to learn that sending money to the Dominican Republic is akin to throwing it down a deep dark well, but in this case I have a very high regard for her brother and his business acumen.
So here's my question: What's the best way to advertise this type of transportation services to the best target groups. By best target groups, and safest (in my mind) of course would be foreigners needing transportation from the various airports to areas on the North Coast. Including those flying into Santiago/Santo Domingo and staying on the North Coast, as I often have to do. And then offering daily transport services to those same groups while they are on the island. As available of course.
The obvious hope in any situation like this is to of course try and insulate the business/brother from dangerous situations. My wife just showed me a video of a Dominican taxista getting riddles with bullets from a couple of guys trying to rob him. Of course we all know life can be dangerous there in many occasions, and avoiding the obvious situations is a must.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

Jan

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Jan 3, 2002
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Santo Domingo
www.colonialzone-dr.com
You should make a web site. Start social media pages updated often with pics and happy client pics. Make business cards and leave in hotels and tourist places. Advertise on tourist web sites. Talk. Talk and more talk.
 

JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
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You should make a web site. Start social media pages updated often with pics and happy client pics. Make business cards and leave in hotels and tourist places. Advertise on tourist web sites. Talk. Talk and more talk.
Exactly what I did. When the crap hit the fan, I even offered to share with the taxi guys. The union folks still wanted their cut and control.
 

flyinroom

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Aug 26, 2012
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Back in the mid nineties a group of several upstarts attempted to compete with the existing transport/taxi business in Punta Cana and more specifically from the airport in PUJ.
Wow.
The reaction was swift and harsh.
We found ourselves smack in the middle of a war between the union of the "pink shirts" and the "piratas".
On the one hand the "piratas" were offering better prices but the "pink shirts" were our buddies with whom we had been working for years.
It could get very, very dangerous and more often than not the client was caught in the middle.
It did force the pink shirts to come up with better, newer vehicles..as I recall.
And then there was that time that Metro tried to start the express service from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo.
Hah.
But that was then.
I don't know what the story is now.
I sort of suspect that the old Plus ça change. might come into play.
 

CristoRey

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So couldn't he join a taxi company and work for them when he wishes and do his own stuff on the side. I know many taxi guys who work for themselves and I have them pick up people at the airport and drive the tourists around and they don't have destroyed cars.
If they are allowed to keep 100% of the money they take in without paying a kickback, I've never heard of such an arrangement.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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So couldn't he join a taxi company and work for them when he wishes and do his own stuff on the side. I know many taxi guys who work for themselves and I have them pick up people at the airport and drive the tourists around and they don't have destroyed cars.
This is what my man does..... sometimes using his car, sometimes mine

His is not a 'marked ' taxi.... just a white van