If you've spent any time in East Lansing recently, chances are you've seek the Skoop pedicabs. Even if you didn't realize what they were at the time. It's actually something many people wonder about the first time they see a Skoop pedicab cycling by, a couple of laughing people enjoying their ride in the back. So here to explain it all is Josh Cooper, the founder and Chief Executive at SKOOP, INC
It all started with an Uber ride. "Early in the fall of my Freshman year, I called an UBER for a ride home one evening. The cost of the ride was almost $18, and I was only going 0.8 miles!" Cooper exclaims. "I remember being outraged, and that's what prompted me to design a business plan that would demonize the cost of short distance transportation. I hit the drawing board, and a few months later SKOOP was underway!"
So what exactly is a Skoop? It's a bike taxi that functions as a mobile billboard. The bike taxis drive around all over MSU campus and beyond, promoting brands and businesses, while giving free rides to their customers. Free rides? Is that even possible? What's the catch?
"There's no catch!" Cooper laughs. "The rides are free to the people of East Lansing. We make our money from advertising via the T.V. screen mounted to the back of each pedicab. Local businesses pay to advertise on our mobile billboard, and during the ride, brand ambassador drivers inform riders about Skoop's local advertising partners and pass out promotional goods."
"40% of all car rides are less than 2 miles." Cooper explains. "At Skoop, we're on a mission to offer a more eco-friendly alternative, which also has the benefit of being free to the consumer."
So how do you get a ride in a Skoop pedicab? Easy. Next time you see one riding around while you're out and about, wave them over. If they don't already have riders on board, hop in and get to wherever you're going in the city for free. Along the way, learn a little something about the local or national business that's paying for your ride. It's free for you, good for the environment, and supports local businesses. What more could you possibly want in a taxi?
Source: Josh Cooper, Founder & Chief Executive, Skoop
Writer: Sarah Hillman, News Editor