Pick Me Up

Alto Makes an Artsy Splash on Houston Streets

The ride-sharing app debuted in town in October, but its colorful art car just hit the road.

By Raven Wuebker January 21, 2021

Shelbi Nicole's Alto art car.

Houston traffic has never been much fun, but as of this week, there will at least be an additional pop of color zooming down the highway thanks to Alto Art Cars. Local Houston artist Shelbi Nicole has collaborated with new-to-Houston rideshare app Alto to create a multicolored Art Car that you’re sure to see from miles away. It officially hit the streets on January 19.

“When I created this Alto Art Car design, I couldn’t help but think about all the Houstonians who sit in hours of traffic every day and how creating a vehicle with all sorts of feel-good vibes could help bring joy to their day,” Nicole said in a press statement. “To be able to collaborate with a company I respect that is the safest, cleanest, and highest quality passenger experience in the world, also contributed to my passion for this project.”

Founded in 2018, Alto is the first employee-based rideshare company in an otherwise gig-based industry—its team of vetted, salaried drivers debuted in Houston in October 2020, offering rideshares across town (twist: you have to join as a member; also, there's a non-conversational trip option) as well as shopping and same-day delivery services from various brands and stores, all services that rival those from Uber and Lyft. The company also operates in Dallas and Los Angeles, where more art cars will likely be hitting the streets soon as well.

"We love collaborating with local artists to bring their designs to life in a new way: on the road,"  Will Coleman, CEO and founder of Alto, said in the same press release. "This art car is particularly special because of its connection to Houston. We can't wait for Houston passengers to see the design."

For a chance to take a trip in the colorful new wheels, you can schedule a pick-up online or more conveniently by downloading the app. Alto operates 9 a.m to 8 p.m. Sunday, 6 a.m to 10 p.m. Monday–Wednesday, 6 a.m to 11 p.m. Thursday, 6 a.m to 1 a.m. Friday, and 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. And since sharing a car with a rando is less than ideal at this current time, Alto has taken extra safety precautions in its cars such as disinfecting vehicles with EPA-registered disinfectants, HEPA cabin air filters, and even Plexiglass barriers.

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