By Emma Doherty
A two-wheeled ridesharing service has been launched as an alternative way of getting around the CBD.
Scooti is Australia’s first scooter-only ridesharing app, offering passengers a faster, greener and more cost-effective service.
The idea for a rideshare service on scooters came as a solution to Melbourne’s long-term congestion problem.
Scooti COO Brett Balsters said: “Putting more rideshare services for cars on the road is not a solution to congestion. There needs to be a better way to get around town.”
“We’ve seen this model overseas where scooters are the preferred method of transport,” he said referring to rideshare services such as Scooterino in Italy, Gojek in Indonesia and Grab in Singapore, which have been shown to curb congestion.
According to RACV reports, it is estimated that the cost of congestion will rise to $53.3 billion in 2031.
Not only does the service aim to relieve city roads, Mr Balsters says it “hopes to gives riders a sense of adventure”.
With plans to launch the app in Sydney over the next year or two, Mr Balsters said Melbourne was going to be the perfect launch pad. He said the city had a better culture of being able to “accept and embrace things quicker”.
With the biggest question on passengers’ minds being safety, Mr Balsters was quick to reassure that safety was a top priority.
So much so, it has implemented a rigorous process for screening and hiring riders.
“Right from the form on our website, or an enquiry over the phone, they (riders) must meet with us and our team. We then vet that person to also ensure they can communicate clearly. Further to that, we need to check that they have their full licence and that they have insurance (comprehensive) on their vehicle. We also run background and criminal checks,” Mr Balsters said.
Drivers also undergo specialised training and assessment to ensure they can operate a vehicle safely.
“The next steps, unlike other rideshare, minimise the risk and ensure the safety of drivers and passengers. We need to make sure we have processes and training in place,” he said.
Assuming a successful and safe launch in Melbourne, Scooti is looking to establish its service in Sydney and Brisbane, as well as New Zealand and South East Asia.
Launched on March 20, the app will be available for download soon.