Taxify is adding dockless electric scooters to its ridesharing app and will explore launching the service in Australia in the coming months.
It would be the first on-demand transport app in Australia to launch scooter sharing and ride hailing in one app. Rival Uber has a bike sharing option, JUMP which is only available in the US.
The Estonian-based company is initially launching its scooter program in Paris today before expanding it to cities Australia and Europe.
Markus Villig, CEO and co-founder of Taxify, said because one in five Taxify rides are less than 3km apart it is likely some of its customers will choose to travel by electric scooter.
He said, “We’ll also attract a whole new group of customers with different needs. This means we’ll be able to help more people with their daily transportation problems.”
With the launch of electric scooters, Taxify is also introducing a new sub-brand for electric two-wheelers, Bolt.
The company said this sub-brand will contribute to Taxify’s mission of building the best way to move in cities by creating a tight web of services for every distance, price range or customer need.
How it works
To use the new service, Bolt, download the Taxify app and choose scooter rental. Bolt scooters come with built-in GPS trackers to provide data on pickup and dropoff locations. To unlock a scooter, a customer will have to scan a QR-code on the scooter.
However, there is some concern these electric scooters could have the same fate as the infamous O-Bikes which have been littered throughout cities and outraged residents and politicians alike.
A spokesperson for Taxify assured Which-50 that will not be the case, “The scooters will be collected each night by Bolt for maintenance and charging so they won’t be left on the streets.”
Melbourne banned the yellow O-Bikes in June and with its parent company going into liquidation its time in Australia is nearly up.
Other bike-sharing companies like Ofo and Reddy-Go have exited the Australian market.
This week Uber announced it would be cracking down on users with low ratings to ‘foster an environment of mutual respect’. From September 19, riders who fall below the minimum average of 4-stars will lose access to the Uber app after a number of warnings have been given.
Taxify does have a rating system but both users and drivers are unable to see each other’s scores. A spokesperson said while you cannot see your rating the ride-sharing app ‘closely monitors the ratings’ of both drivers and users.
Taxify launched in Australia late last year offering 15 per cent off all its rides for the first couple of months in the country to reel in more customers. It now operates in Sydney and Melbourne and is used by more than 350,000 riders with tens of thousands of drivers registered across both cities.
Globally, the company serves more than 15 million people in selected European and African countries as well as Australia.