Search

Difference desire drive paying off

A DESIRE to be different has created a potentially lucrative business opportunity for a Perth taxi driver.

Charles O’Leary created the Super Party Cab, a seven-seat Kia Carnival that comes complete with a Sony Playstation2, DVD, Internet and e-mail access, and a substantial sound system.

Indeed, Mr O’Leary runs two such vehicles – one he owns and one owned by an investor. More are planned for release.

The Super Party Cab service is available for the same price as any other taxi. However, there is also a $45 per hour, unlimited kilometres leasing option available.

Mr O’Leary said he decided to create the Super Party Cab upon his return to taxi driving.

“I found myself between jobs in the real estate industry. I had done taxi driving a couple of times before and thought I’d go back to that,” he said.

“I got into a four-seater Falcon and immediately went broke. There are just so many of them around.

“With my son’s encouragement I decided to get a bigger cab and put a TV in it. I decided to go as far away from a four-seater cab as possible.

“Besides the entertainment system I have a big luggage capacity and racks with the ability to carry four bikes, so I can take families to the Rottnest Ferry.

“I always carry a baby capsule in the cab. One of my biggest clients in that regard is Family and Children Services. Because of that I carry a Wiggles DVD in one car and a Bob the Builder DVD in the other.”

Mr O’Leary’s first party cab also bears the autographs of sports stars who have used it, such as Australian wicket keeper-batsmen Alan Gilchrist, Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy and Essendon player Sean Wellman.

“I’ve actually had more offers for autographs but I’m pretty selective in who I put on there,” Mr O’Leary said.

He said the difference was paying off for his business.

“Other taxis are not sufficiently different for concierges to ring them,” Mr O’Leary said.

“The service has been very well received. I go out some days with pre-bookings equivalent to 80 per cent of what a taxi driver would normally get.

“I do meet and greets at the airport”

Mr O’Leary said he had a business-building philosophy rather than a taxi-driving philosophy.

He wants to secure more investors to support the role out of more ‘party cabs’.

“In my view there’s not much profit in owning a cab. I’ll be moving towards the hire leasing market with cars three and four. That’s more into the small charter vehicle marketing. I believe that should be back in the taxi industry’s hands.”

The idea is certainly catching on, with other taxi drivers indicating an interest in conducting similar fitouts on people mover-type vehicles.

One taxi driver told WA Business News there was an increasing need for such vehicles, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.

“People going out or coming home on those nights want to be entertained,” he said.

Swan Taxis has another driver who was operating a four-seater taxi as the ‘Disco’ cab, which is fitted with a mirror ball and karaoke system.

Taxi Council of WA CEO and WA Business News 40under40 winner Joanna Ammon said it was good to see drivers being enterprising.

“I think it’s going above and beyond and that is always a good thing,” she said.

“They are not charging any more for the service so it’s a good bit of value adding.”

Add your comment

BNIQ sponsored byECU School of Business and Law

Students

6th-Australian Institute of Management WA20,000
7th-Murdoch University16,584
8th-South Regional TAFE10,549
9th-Central Regional TAFE10,000
10th-Saferight8,000
49 tertiary education & training providers ranked by total number of students in WA

Number of Employees

BNiQ Disclaimer