24 March 2021 – Ireland’s leading ride-hailing app will offer a public transport trip planner in the app from today. Starting first in Dublin, this is the latest in the company’s move towards becoming a multi mobility app. Already in Germany, customers can plan their journey and book taxis, e-bikes, e-scooters, e-mopeds and car sharing services within FREE NOW, a direction that the Irish business will follow in future.
This comes as a new Future of Mobility report launched by FREE NOW, Ireland, sheds light on changing public attitudes toward transport since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Demand for different transport options is growing with 40% of those surveyed, planning to use e-scooters for their travel needs when legalised in Ireland, and a further 44% intending to use e-bikes in the coming months. Interest is also growing in blended or multi mobility approaches to daily transport among Irish consumers – 22% of passengers who own a car are considering selling it in favour of alternative transport options, and 59% want to see multiple transport options available on the FREE NOW app.
The new trip planner launching today integrates google maps to provide passengers with a range of transport options to choose from when planning trips – including public bus, LUAS, train and FREE NOW taxis. The launch of this new app function, in addition to FREE NOW’s upcoming e-scooter partnerships will allow passengers to combine a range of transport options to meet their individual journey needs.
The Future Commute
The new research also focused on the future of work and commuting in Ireland, as we continue to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic. Working from home will remain the status quo for many, with 41% of passengers planning to work at least one day from home for the rest of the year, and one in five (20.5%) not expecting to return to their workplace at all in 2021, but 51% expect to be back in the workplace within a year.
For those who plan to return to the workplace in the coming months, daily commutes will experience some change too. 50% more passengers will rely on taxis as their primary mode of transport when workplaces open back up (when compared with pre-pandemic numbers). Safe travel will be an utmost priority for passengers, with a quarter (24%) now considering ‘safety’ to be the most important factor when choosing their mode of transport – ahead of cost and speed.
Fiona Brady, Head of Operations at FREE NOW Ireland commented:
“The launch of our new public transport option is another key milestone in our mission to enable a range of transport options in Ireland. It’s clear from our research that there is growing demand across the Irish market for multi-mobility solutions and we are keen to continue diversifying the FREE NOW app to allow passengers to make smart, sustainable and convenient transport choices to meet their individual transport needs.
“The future of transport in Ireland is looking bright with a clear shift in public preference for greener ways of moving and for alternative transport options. We are committed to playing our part in building a thriving and interconnected transport system in Ireland that reduces over reliance on private car ownership. Our new public transport planner function, along with our recent ECO booking option, and upcoming micro-mobility launch later this year, are all important steps in providing our passengers with a better connected and multi-modal transport ecosystem.”