The Australian rideshare economy is set to go the way of Asia and Europe, with new company Scooti ready to unleash its fleet of scooter taxis on Melbourne next month. CEO and founder Cameron Nadi boasts the service as a cheaper, faster and more eco-conscious mode of transport.
"The main advantage of Scooti is, of course, getting where you want to go sooner," says Nadi. "Two wheels have a distinct advantage in busy traffic. It's [also] more cost-effective than other chauffeur-driven ride sharing options, and creates less emissions than most other public or shared transport options available."
It may sound odd, but Scooti is by no means a novel idea. Motorbikes already act as taxis all across Asia, as well as in European cities like Amsterdam and Florence — though this is the first time the concept has been implemented in Australia.
The fleet currently consists of around 50 drivers and they're recruiting for more — so if you've got a scooter or motorbike and need some extra cash flow, listen up. As with any rideshare company, drivers can use their own motorbikes as long as they meet Scooti's mechanical, safety, comfort and hygiene standards. Alternatively, drivers will be given the option to invest in one of the company's branded blue electric Fonzarelli scooters.
Scooti is also offering up benchmark pay rates and rewards in the transport services/delivery category, which should mean the pay will sit fairly within Australian salary standards. If true-to-word, this could set them apart, as pay continues to be a major issue within the ridesharing and delivering industries. Nadi also claims the company's recruitment standards "go beyond the likes of Uber", assessing for things like scooter skill and an arbitrary marker of "common sense".
Riders can request a pickup using the Scooti app, though keep in mind you'll only be able to legally ride solo — so it's a good option when you don't have anyone to split an Uber or Taxify with. The drivers are also required to have an extra helmet for you, with hair nets on hand for those that are skeeved out by the idea of sharing headgear. The company is committed to offering female drivers to women riders upon request too.
In addition to more drivers, Scooti is also actively looking for investors to grow the business. If Melbourne proves successful, you'll likely be seeing Scooti up in Sydney and Brisbane in no time, with expansion planned over the next 12 months. In the lead up their launch, you may notice some trial drivers around town. Keep a lookout — some heavily discounted fares will apparently be available for the first riders using the app.
Scooti will launch in Melbourne this April, so keep an eye out for blue bikes around town. For more information or to download the app, head to their scooti.com.au.