We’re deviating from our regular schedule to bring you the best new business ideas we covered in 2006. Below are five transportation businesses, from an easy to start up driving service for seniors, to a chic new airline in Japan.
- Cabs for and by women: In London alone, 10 women are attacked each month after getting into an unlicensed mini-cab. No wonder that many women feel safer taking a taxi driven by a woman. Pink Ladies spotted a business opportunity, and created the UK’s first women-only private car hire franchise. The Pink Ladies drive Renault Kangoos that are pink inside and out, making them highly visible. Passengers sign up as members, and fares are either pre-paid, paid by credit card or with a ‘pink account’, which is both convenient for members and safe for drivers. More »
- Drive-in mobility: Made in Hungary, the Kenguru is a small vehicle that drivers can roll into without leaving their wheelchairs. Designed by Zsolt Varga, Kenguru is small, stylish and cheerful vehicle whose contours are similar to those of a Smart car. But the resemblance stops there. Made to hold one passenger in a manual wheelchair, the Kenguru doesn’t have doors or seats. To get in, the driver opens the extra large back hatch and rolls inside while remaining seated in his wheelchair, which automatically locks into place inside the car. More »
- No-frills chic takes flight in Japan: Like JetBlue, the U.S. carrier that first brought no-frills chic to air travel, Japanese StarFlyer combines low cost with high quality. “Blazing through the world like a comet,” StarFlyer’s homebase is the new airport of western port city Kitakyushu. Flights currently run between Kitakyushu and Tokyo (90 minutes), but the airline is planning to expand to more regional destinations, as well as international destinations such as Seoul and Shanghai. More »
- City bike schemes: Cheap, environmentally friendly and good exercise, urban cycling is on the uprise, aided by smart locking and payment technologies that increase rental income and decrease the likelihood of bikes being stolen or abandoned. Since ever-rising fuel costs are making consumers think twice about using their cars, now’s the time to launch your own urban bicycle rental service. More »
- Driving service for seniors: After we wrote about Pink Ladies, a British taxi service for women, a reader alerted us to Canadian Driving Miss Daisy. Driving Miss Daisy is a cab and companion service for senior citizens, that takes them shopping, to doctor’s appointments, social events, etc. The company prides itself on providing extra care and security to its elderly customers, at affordable prices. Driving Miss Daisy currently has seven cars in Edmonton, Calgary, and is looking to expand to other cities. More »