You’d have to live under a rock to not be aware of the rise of ridesharing. In America, Uber and Lyft are the biggest players. In Europe it’s mytaxi. With over 100,000 drivers serving 14 million passengers across 100 cities, it’s the leading multiservice mobility provider.
- In a rebrand, mytaxi changes its name to FREE NOW to signify its advanced mobility features.
- FREE NOW synchronizes mobility options and puts them in one app.
- By offering a seamless door-to-door experience, FREE NOW strives to make future mobility options hassle free.
- Aware of the driver wage problem, FREE NOW CEO promises to make working for its company a worthwhile endeavor.
When you read the name mytaxi, you’ll understand why the company just announced a rebranding to FREE NOW. I happen to know what a taxi is—and have taken many, especially when I lived in New York. But, the taxi is going the way of the dodo bird and the rotary phone. Quaint relics from another time.
As part of the mobility merger between BMW and Daimler, FREE NOW has some good monetary muscle behind it to make the name change and perception transition. In fact, it has reserved a double-digit million-dollar budget for the task. However, more than just a rideshare company, FREE NOW plans to be a multiple threat through a singular app.
Hive Scooters First Integration Into FREE NOW
As a first step, FREE NOW just integrated Hive scooters into its app and has plans to add even more—with the goal of providing a door-to-door transportation experience. Owned by FREE NOW, Hive hit the streets in 2018 as part of mytaxi’s strategy. It launched in Portugal, Poland and Austria, where the scooter was already active.
“This day is a huge milestone for the whole organisation,” Eckart Diepenhorst, CEO Europe for FREE NOW, says. “We started the transition to a multiservice mobility provider a while ago by launching the Hive scooter brand last year.
FREE NOW is really onto something here. Currently, when you want to go somewhere, you have to use different transportation apps. My phone is littered with them. For a rideshare, I have to find and open one app; for a scooter, another swipe and search; and yet another for a bike. And, what if I want to do a combo? Like get out of my rideshare several blocks from a crazy crowded venue to avoid wasted time in traffic and take a scooter the rest of the way. I can’t plan in advance where to find the scooter or the time transition to find one until I get to my drop off location. This sounds complicated, I’m not going.
Improving the Ease of Transportation
I might consider going or be convinced to make the trek if I could get the best route mapped in advance. By putting rideshare and other mobility apps under one roof, FREE NOW enables customers to receive better and smoother service. Less hassle for the customer, more business for the company.
If FREE NOW has its way, you will soon be able to tell the app where you’re going and it will plan out the best way for you to get there. For example, if you live downtown and want to come to the beach, the app might recommend you take a rideshare to the metro to bring you crosstown to the westside. At the drop off point, there’s already a bike reserved for you to two-wheel it to the sand.
After romping on the beach for a couple hours, you feel guilty that you pushed off your errands. You hire a short-term rental car to make all your stops and the app figures out the most expedient way to knock off your list, even including booking parking spots near your locations.
“We want our passengers to lean back, enjoy their ride and let us take care of the details of getting them from A to B,” says Thomas Zimmermann, FREE NOW Chief Marketing Officer.
FREENOW CMO Promises To Take Care Of Drivers
In the news recently, rideshare drivers have revealed that they can’t make a living wage. One driver did the math and found out he was only making $3.25 per hour. Aware of the problem, FREENOW intends to address it.
“We want our drivers to be confident in us taking care of getting them enough jobs so they can earn their well-deserved living,” Zimmermann says.
Zimmermann was smart to jump on this issue. There is already a backlash from rideshare companies causing even worse traffic when the idea was to improve congestion. Mobility companies need to keep a positive image or risk getting banned.
As society becomes more connected and advanced, people expect their services seamlessly integrated into their lives. FREE NOW just made a bold leap in taking us to the next level of transportation—and a bid to dominate the market. It already owns SHARE NOW (Carsharing) REACH NOW (multimodal), PARK NOW and CHARGE NOW. Other transportation companies would be wise to take note.