A local startup has launched a ride-sharing alternative that delivers more choice for all passengers and a fair go for drivers.
Since launching in Perth in January, Hi Oscar has established itself as a competitive, transparent transport service with a range of industry-leading app features. With over 1600 app downloads, and over 100 new downloads each week, the app is proving popular with Perth passengers.
Hi Oscar CEO & Co-Founder Daniel Broughton said while many ride share services are focused on the passenger, Hi Oscar sees it as a two-way relationship that also takes care of drivers and provides a win-win for all. He explained:
“Unlike some of our competitors we are registered for GST so our drivers don’t have to foot the GST for the entire charge. On the passenger front, ride-share users told us they hate when prices surge so we’ve simply eliminated it. Our riders will never be hit with a hefty tax,”
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One of Hi Oscar’s popular features is the option for women to select a female driver: “There’s a variety of reasons that passengers may prefer female drivers and Hi Oscar allows them to make that choice,” said Mr Broughton. “Similarly, our drivers are empowered to decide who they pick up. Many of our female drivers opt to have exposure to the full market the majority of the time, though they may limit the selection to female-only passengers late on weekend nights. The choice is completely theirs.”
In most ride share services; drivers are randomly connected with their next passenger via algorithms, though the Hi Oscar app allows users to select a driver. This has improved the overall quality of the experience, as it encourages drivers to provide good service and clean vehicles. From a driver’s perspective it also allows them to build an ongoing relationship with riders and develop a client base of passengers in their area. It becomes a very personal experience for the Rider, they get to choose their favorite Drivers which indirectly makes the whole experience safer by removing some of the anonymity associated with random allocation. Mr Broughton said:
“Since launching we’ve had over 300 drivers sign up and we’re now averaging 20 new drivers each week. Our drivers range from retirees who have some spare time and enjoy meeting people and having interesting conversations to students looking for some supplementary income. The overwhelming feedback has been that drivers are excited by the opportunity to make a fair and competitive commission and the flexibility and ownership they have over the experience.”
Hi Oscar is currently available in Western Australia, although Co-Founders and Perth locals, Daniel Broughton and Jeremy Webb, have their eye on the rest of the country. Sydney and Melbourne rollouts are scheduled for mid-year with additional regional and rural destinations to follow.
“Our goal is for Hi Oscar to be a service for all Australians – not just the cities that have been designated as the highest revenue centres. As long as there is mobile reception, there is no reason why Hi Oscar can’t operate.”
Hi Oscar riders have the option to round up their fare to the nearest dollar with the difference being donated to Carbon Neutral’s Plant-a-Tree program. Since launch in January, 189 trees have been planted with the generous donations of Hi Oscar riders.
Get the Hi Oscar app: