Since the last edition of Cities Today a lot has been happening at FREE NOW. Perhaps you have noticed a small change? In early July, mytaxi, rebranded to FREE NOW. We have not only changed our branding, but are also establishing ourselves as a broader mobility provider, and will be adding more mobility options to the app. We recognise that increasingly, people want more choice and access to multiple ways of getting around the city with just a couple of taps. Whether it’s by taxi, cab-sharing, car or e-scooters, we know that for different trips, you need different mobility options.
To start with, we will be integrating Hive scooters into our app, in the FREE NOW markets where Hive is already active (Portugal, Poland and Austria). We have always worked in harmony with the cities in which we operate, so we have not gone for a “one size fits all” approach. The options we offer depend on the local needs and context in each country. For example, in Germany we have recently launched a private-hire option which is complementary to taxis in several cities like Hamburg and Berlin. In Poland, Spain and Portugal, we offer taxi and taxi lite (a taxi option working with fixed fares), while in Dublin we have just launched our taxi-sharing option, Match. In London, where we work with the city’s famous black cabs, we are awaiting the legislation of E-scooters—as they are in demand, but not yet legal!
User demands, regulatory frameworks and technical options for mobility are constantly changing, and this has driven our evolution. We have always been at the forefront of innovation from the very moment we were born as mytaxi—trekking around the streets of Berlin showing taxi drivers how to use the app back in 2009. In order for us to maintain and grow our satisfied customer base, we needed to develop our plans to fulfil our mission: We want to make mobility available for everyone—independent of age, income and location.
The rebrand to FREE NOW also marks our change in shareholders. We are now part of the new brand family created through the mobility merger of BMW and Daimler. The other verticals within that family are SHARE NOW (Car-sharing) REACH NOW (multi-modal), PARK NOW and CHARGE NOW. We know, for example, that charging infrastructure is a key challenge for cities today and in order to help the switch to electric vehicles run as smoothly as possible, we need to think about the layout of charge points in our cities. We will be working closely with our cousins at the other NOW verticals in the future, so watch out for more on that.
Since the rebrand in July, we have been very busy bringing these new mobility options to life and showcasing what the FREE NOW brand stands for. We want our customers to be free, to switch off, get out there and enjoy, knowing that we will take care of the journey. Whether you jump in a cab or hop on a Hive, think about the FREE NOW ethos and what this means to you and the city you represent.
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