Since Connie started Ace Xpress in 1996 giving rides to the retired friends of her grandmother, we have seen ourselves not only filling a transportation need that was lacking in the Verde Valley, but as a provider of a public service. Though Connie has passed away these same attributes remain at the core of our operations. These guiding principles of a dogmatic focus on the traveler and a focus on public benefit have made it easy for us to define our operational decisions.
When gas prices skyrocketed, it took months for her to capitulate to the nagging of her employees and family members to raise prices a modest amount and she brought them back down as fast as she could. For years we have been the only service to Phoenix-Mesa airport, not because it was profitable (it isn't), but because there was a need that Connie saw and it needed filled. Until recently prices at Ace Xpress stayed the same for over a decade, because Connie wasn't interested in extracting every dollar of value just because she could, because she always thought of those retirees that she started out with. Those decisions were easy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us to a place that, for the first time, has pitted those guiding principles against each other. On one hand we strive to provide customer service for those travelers seeking a flexible and reliable airport transport option, while at the same time governments are asking, begging, and in many cases forcing humanity to stop dragging this virus across the world and flatten the infection curve. We are far passed containment being an option , and can only hope to flatten the curve of people who become infected, by slowing the spread of the disease.
Part of us would appreciate the government to just tell the industry to close the airports, but at the same time knowing that would likely cause new problems, so the decision falls to the global citizenry. At this point it seems that our commitment to the public good will have to overpower our desire to provide exceptional customer service. This is not a choice that we have entered into lightly, but we have always tried to make ourselves a target for second career/ retired individuals. These team members often bring a wealth of experience that aligns well with our business model. Unfortunately, that means that a number of our workforce fall in the target range of those most at risk for a catastrophic outcome. To this end, COVID-19 has done what war, high fuel prices, the collapse of financial markets, and a number of other challenges have never been able to to do, cause us to temporarily suspend operations.
The current operations will suspend service for travel from March 26- April 30. By mid April we should have a good idea about Customers impacted by this have been contacted and where necessary refunds are being issued. Please direct any travel related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to all who have helped up to become the premier shuttle service in the Verde Valley for for the last 24 years.
Stay safe and pray for our healthcare workers during these unprecedented time.