Scooterino takes off in Rome

New app allows users to share scooter rides.

Scooterino, a community-based platform allowing users to share scooters rides, has been launched in Rome. Through the mobile app you can connect with fellow users driving their motorini in a similar direction similar to yours.

The Scooterino app automatically matches drivers and passengers going in the same direction, and drivers provide the helmet. The suggested cost of your trip is displayed upfront and you can review the other user's profile; it is up to you whether you accept or reject the request. On delivery to your destination you make a small payment to help the scooterista cover their running costs. You can also leave a community rating based on your experience.

The eco-friendly system is cashless and all expense reimbursements for accepted trips are paid directly into your credit/debit card or Paypal account on a weekly basis. All drivers must be at least 21 years old, hold a valid driver's licence, an up-to-date insurance policy, and a well-maintained two-person scooter.

The application can be downloaded on Android devices and users can register either as a passenger or driver. It will also be available to iPhone users in the coming weeks but if you are in hurry to sign up contact the Scooterino team via the Facebook page, Twitter or email support@scooterino.it and ask for a provisional IOS link.

The company originally launched in March with the help of a €50,000 investment from the European Space Agency, secured through Bic Lazio, a Regione Lazio-funded body which provides start-ups with mentoring, development assistance and financial support.

Scooterino2

The brainchild of Scooterino is 22-year-old Rome resident Oliver Page, who was born and raised in Italy to American parents. Speaking to Wanted in Rome, Page said he "grew up in an entrepreneurial household" and set up his first business, NutKase – specialising in tablet and laptop cases – while still at St Stephen's in the capital's S. Saba district.

He began developing the Scooterino concept in California's Silicon Valley but the idea came to him in Rome while waiting interminably for a bus that never arrived. Standing at the bus stop he noticed a large amount of scooters without passengers, all travelling in his direction.

Page says Scooterino is the first scooter-pooling venture in Europe, although “variations of the business model exist in Bangkok, Mexico and Africa.” However he is quick to point out that Scooterino is "not Uber for scooters" as has been reported mistakenly by some local media channels. The model for his business is based on a "community network" – similar to Airbnb or BlaBla Car.

For full details about Scooterino see its interactive website while for a quick introduction to the system check out this short animated video.