Passengers, say hi to Oscar

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on April 18, 2019

A NEW car ride-sharing service is starting in Albany next month and driver Tony Banner believes it will give passengers greater opportunity to travel in the region more economically.

Hi-Oscar Rideshare was the brainchild of Perth entrepreneurs Daniel Broughton and Jeremy Webb and was launched two years ago in the South West.

The service targets regional areas and currently operates in Alice Springs, Bunbury, Busselton, Dar- win, Launceston and Hobart.

Mr Banner discovered Hi-Oscar when he was searching for a way to expand the use of his Nissan Elgrand beyond his Tours by Tony business.

He will begin transporting passengers via the Hi-Oscar app from May 8.

“It seemed like a natural progression for me,” Mr Banner said.

“I volunteer at the National Anzac Centre because I like the idea of small tours, so it just seemed right to go into ride sharing.”

Mr Banner first explored other ride sharing services such as Uber, but learned Albany was “too small” for their consideration.

He heard about Hi-Oscar and agreed with their regional priority policies, so he decided to pursue gaining the necessary driver qualifications.

“It took about two months to qualify,” Mr Banner said.

“So now, I’ve got an F-class licence, the car is a registered charter vehicle, and I have national police and medical clearances.”

Mr Banner said he would be willing to drive anyone anywhere, at anytime, as long as they were prepared to pay the bill.

He explained the service was by pre-booking only, meaning he would be unable to pick people up if they ‘flag’ him down.

“I’m really looking forward to starting and being of service to people and meeting people,” Mr Banner said.

“And I’m more than happy to do more than short trips – special events, day trips somewhere if you want to go shopping, between the pubs …”

Hi-Oscar co-founder Mr Broughton explained that the app-based service was 100 per cent cashless and prices were “very competitive”.

“We don’t have surge pricing and provide a fare estimate upfront,” he said.

“The big one is that we charge very little to provide the app – in Bunbury, we charge drivers 10 per cent and everywhere else 15 per cent, which includes GST.

“We cover all of the payment processing fees and also bear 100 per cent of the exposure to credit card fraud.”

Mr Banner hopes to get another driver onboard and encouraged anyone interested to call him on 0409 680 294.