Tag Archives: ride sharing

Ride sharing collapse blamed on government

The Uber-syle Scooti scooter taxi service which started operations in Melbourne in April 2019 collapsed this year due to government red tape, says CEO Brett Balsters.

“Scooti battled for nearly a year in Victoria and again in NSW to convince the governments of its ability to operate safely and to ensure its compliance under the regulations,” he says, claiming they ran out of funding during the drawn-out process.

“The government ride-share regulators; Vic (Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria) and NSW (Point-to-Point Commission) mismanaged our applications and misled the company by setting the expectations that our application would be processed in a a few weeks,” he says.

One example of CPVV red tape included a prolonged review of a licence for a Scooti rider because he wore hearing aids.

“In a review process, it was pointed out that hearing aids corrected the issue in the same way that glasses do,” Brett says.

“It was stated that if they treated hearing disability like this they would also have to refuse anyone that wore glasses as having a visual disability. The refusal was overturned.

“A big victory for the hearing impaired but a waste of time for Scooti as the driver had become sick of waiting to onboard and left.”

“The CPVV attitude was to place motor scooter taxis in the too-hard basket. By stalling they ultimately made the business fragile and as conditions changed, Scooti could not survive.”

Scooti Motorcycle Taxi Service went into administration in February 2020.

Scooti peer-to-peer scooter taxi service
Scooti CEO Brett Balsters Left), with staff Eva Krane and Cameron Nadi

“Scooti’s unfortunate demise is a prime example of the governments’ placation of the taxi industry,” Brett says.

“The regulators tied Scooti up in bureaucratic knots, stalled and passed the application through so many departments that on many occasions Scooti’s CEO Brett Balsters would find himself re-introducing the company and explaining the Scooti concept to a new group of public servants.”

Brett says the unexpected delays forced the company to seek more funding to tide them over, but assures that they continued to pay employees during the prolonged application period as they expected a result “at any moment”.

2021 Diavel

“With no commitment on timeframes from either government, Scooti’s staff and management waited in limbo, unable to commit to a launch dates and yet ready to go,” he says.

Brett rebuts suggestions that staff were underpaid, saying that “every Scooti employee was paid above-award wages”.

However, he does not believe their failure will be the end in Australia of two-wheeled ride sharing which is thriving in some other countries.

Scooti ride-sharing scooter service
Scooti app

“Scooti’s service proved that there was a market for this faster form of public transport,” says Brett who believes a similar service will eventually succeed.

“Scooti’s passenger service helped commuters into and out of the built-up city areas. The Scooti service didn’t take up valuable parking spaces or taxi ranks and but kept the cities moving.

“Instead of assisting local business and encouraging more innovative public transport options, the governments’ focus gets distracted on the billion-dollar decade-long projects as the priority, while the taxpaying commuters are left staring at the red tail lights and traffic queues ahead.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Scooti ride sharing going belly-up?

The Uber-syle Scooti ride-sharing service for scooters which started operations in Melbourne last April has appointed an administrator.

At the time, COO Brett Balsters said that if the Melbourne service was well received, “we will get Sydney going first and then shift our attention on Queensland”.

However, Scooti Motorcycle Taxi Service appointed Deloitte as an external administrator on 4 February 2020.

The first creditors’ meeting will be held at Deloitte in Bourke St, Melbourne, at 9.30pm on Monday (17 February 2020).

We contacted Brett for comment, but did not receive a reply.

Scooti peer-to-peer scooter taxi serviceScooti COO Brett Balsters, CMO Eva Krane and CEO Cameron Nadi

However, when the service launched, Brett said it had taken a “lot of meetings” to sort out safety and other issues with the Victorian Government to get the service started.

Scooti spending

A source tells us the company had indulged in “wild spending, silly spending” and was “unaware of their potential client base”.

In their confidential email, the source also claimed riders were given “pathetic pay”.Scooti ride-sharing scooter service

“Their claims of fair pay and rider bonuses are completely false. No documentation, no rider updates, just nothing. False promise.

“They are shifting into the delivery sector whilst letting the taxi riders down. Most taxi riders have left because the client base is almost non-existent.

“Management lying to riders about promised forthcoming clients that never eventuate.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ride-sharing app Tonit values privacy

There are many ride-sharing apps available, but Tonit adds a feature to ensure that riders protect their privacy and don’t incriminate themselves or void their insurance.

Tonit spokesman Alexandra Pony says users do not need to use the app’s tracking feature which only shows the route and speed.

Privacy rules

Riders can also choose to track their ride, but can keep them private on their profile.

“No one can view the rides they go on and/or access any of this info unless one chooses to make their rides public,” Alexander says.

“Also, riders can choose what info they’d like to keep — eg speeds, routes, etc. So a rider can opt to delete their speed from their profile.”Ride-sharing app Toni values privacy

When tracking rides/ride sharing (this feature is yet to be released) riders will be able to share their location in real time with friends.

“This feature will be 100% up to the rider and will require approval from both parties before sharing live locations,” he says.

“There will be a duration and route preset so that it automatically stops once the ride is over.

“We’re riders too and know the risks. Our goal is to create a great community to share experiences and connect with other riders.” 

Global community

Ride-sharing apps such as Rever, EatSleepRIDE and Riser are focused on GPS maps and tracking, allowing riders to download and use when offline.

Tonit is focused on building a global community, says Alexander.

The free Android and iOS app launched in November 2019 and already has 119,000 downloads and 86,000 active users. It hit #1 trending lifestyle app on Google Play in April.

The Tonit social hub allows motorcyclists to “meet, mingle and enjoy each other’s rides and experiences”.

It has an Instagram-style feed which allows riders to posts pics, tips and tricks, offer advice, and track and share their favourite routes.

Riders can also find other riders in their area and chat within the app to plan rides and create or join a variety of clubs that suit their style of riding.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ride sharing to dampen motorcycle sales

The love of motorcycle ownership could be replaced by the love of riding with an increase in ride sharing and rental expected in the next 10 years at the expense of motorcycle sales.

A Fact.MR report has surprisingly found that increased traffic congestion and population is discouraging people from buying motorcycles. Perhaps they are finding it too dangerous to ride.

They also say millennials, who are estimated to hold the largest share in global demographics, prefer to share and buy or even ride motorcycles.

Ride sharing growthScooti ride sharing scooter service

However, these factors are expected to contribute to a growth in motorcycle sales to rental services such as the new Scooti “taxi” ride sharing service which recently started in Melbourne, as well as motorcycle tour companies

The report suggests these sharing services are bolstered by the development of sophisticated technologies such as data analytics, Internet of Things and the growth of automated vehicles.

Motorcycle manufacturers are not oblivious to the changes and are investing heavily in the industry.

Yamaha has invested US$150m ($A210m) in Grab, a bike rental service operational in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.

They plan to develop affordable motorcycles available for rental purposes.

BMW has also launched its own bike rental service in Germany, France, and Austria. If successful, the Bavarian company plans to expand its services around the globe.

Touring growth

Hidden Sri Lanka Tour with Extreme Bike Tours sharing
Hidden Sri Lanka Tour with Extreme Bike Tours

The popularity of overseas motorcycle tours is also driving the demand for rental sports bikes, cruisers, and adventure bikes, the Fact.MR report says.

“A significant increase in recreational activities coupled with the development of lightweight and high-performance motorcycle suitable for different terrains is also fuelling the sales of adventure and touring motorcycles,” it says.

Electric damper

Harley electric LiveWire ID specs sharing
Harley’s coming electric bicycle

The report also claims the acceleration and handling capabilities of many new e-bikes (electric bicycles) is so similar to many small bikes and scooters, they are expected to cannibalise motorcycle sales.

The report says many e-bikes have value-added features such as ABS, superior suspension, and fat tyres for better grip and handling.

The availability of affordable e-bike models will also sabotage more expensive electric motorcycles, the report says.

Harley-Davidson has hedged its bets with an electric motorcycle coming this year, but also a host of electric bicycles and scooters.

Harley electric bicycles sharing
Harley electric bicycle

Riding e-bikes does not require a licence in most jurisdictions, opening up the leisure and transport activity to more prospective riders.

The report estimates the motorcycle market will grow at the compound annual growth rate of 3.8% until 2026, reaching 40 million this year.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Scooti ride-sharing service arrives

After more than a year in the planning an Uber-style ride-sharing service for scooters has arrived with Scooti starting operations in Melbourne.

CEO Brett Balsters says if the Melbourne service is well received, “we will get Sydney going first and then shift our attention on Queensland”.

We reported on the service a year ago and it has taken a lot of meetings to sort out safety and other issues with the Victorian Government to get the service started.

In fact, when we contacted Brett this week he said he was about to “step into another meeting with the Victorian Government”.

Safety and comfort

Scooti peer-to-peer scooter taxi service
Scooti COO Brett Balsters, CMO Eva Krane and CEO Cameron Nadi

Brett says “safety and comfort” of Scooti’s customers is their top priority.

“All our drivers are specially trained, insured and certified under government legislation,” he says.

“We operate in and around the CBD where most roads are 40km/h zones, and helmets, hairnets and safety vests are provided to all our customers.”

Putting more scooters on the road would also create a visible presence that would alert other motorists to the presence of two-wheelers and hopefully increase the safety of all riders.

To access the service, pillions need to download the Scooti app for iPhone and Android, then request a ride by entering their pick-up location and destination.

Scooti ride-sharing scooter service
Scooti app

It is similar to the Uber taxi service.

Scooti says riders can refuse to take pillions who they do not believe would be safe passengers.

Unlike a taxi service, we can’t imagine they would be taking too many drunks home.

Rider incomeScooti ride-sharing scooter service

The service will not only provide pillions with a quick, cheap and easy service around the CBD, but also provide riders with a source of income.

Brett says the biggest criticisms of other ride-sharing platforms has been unfair work practices.

“Scooti is prioritising driver rewards and incentive programs,” he says.

“We want people to feel good about using Scooti and trust that our drivers are being looked after.”

Scooti service

The service will operate daily from 5am to 10pm “within a tight geographical distance from Melbourne’s CBD”.

All Scooti drivers have to complete comprehensive driver checks, including police and medical checks, accreditation by Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, and hold full, unrestricted motorcycle licenses issued by an Australian state or territory.

Riders are also vetted by Scooti for hygiene, presentation, communication and safety.

Scooti plans to have female riders available for women who want to ride with a female.

Riders can use their own scooter or hire one from Scooti partners Ridely.Scooti ride-sharing scooter service

While these peer-to-peer services are escalating around the world, there are a few hurdles for riders.

They include:

  • Carrying the right size helmet for all passengers;
  • the varying standards of safety gear passengers wear; and 
  • the cost of insurance which is already high for motorcyclists. Imagine how much higher it would be if you are using your bike or scooter as a taxi service!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com