FREE NOW and Smart Dublin expand taxi-sharing service across County!

Smart Dublin expand taxi-sharing service

Wednesday, September 11, 2019: Broader service to offer more passengers smarter transport option and lower taxi fares

FREE NOW, Ireland’s leading e-hailing app, has announced its new innovative taxi-sharing service “Match” is to expand across Dublin city and into the surrounding areas.

Previously trialled as a pilot in the Grand Canal Dock and Sandyford Industrial Estate in Dublin, the taxi-sharing service, offered in partnership with Smart Dublin, will now be available to all FREE NOW customers within the M50 ring around Dublin.  Over the course of the pilot which has been running since June, Friday afternoon was found to be the most popular period for ‘Match’ requests, with Dublin Airport the most popular destination the company said.

Alan Fox, General Manager for FREE NOW Ireland, said that a much greater number of passengers across Dublin will now have the option to pair up, enjoy lower fares and better use existing taxi capacity.

“Our aim is to offer more cost-effective and efficient transport modes to everyone in Ireland, regardless of age, location or income.  We want to help cities and towns reduce traffic congestion by helping passengers to better use existing taxi capacity, and, at the same time, avail of cheaper fares.  The ‘Match’ technology is a smarter solution for passengers, particularly at peak hours as we get back into the busy Winter traffic period.  It reduces waiting times and carbon emissions, and now offers even more of our customers a flexible, cost-effective transport solution that really meets their needs. FREE NOW’s focus going forward is on driving new models of transport and mobility that prioritises interconnectivity and sustainability, transforming how people live and work as well as supporting economic growth.   We want to reduce car ownership, reduce congestion and make a real difference to how our passengers move around cities.”

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Smart Dublin Lead, Alan Murphy, said: “At Smart Dublin we want to develop new urban solutions for our citizens, including improving transit options and ‘match’ offers real progress in this regard. Taxi-sharing innovations like ‘match’ can position Dublin as a world leader in the development of new ways to travel, work and live. It is very positive to see this service now expand to all Dublin’s four local authority areas.  Smart Dublin’s goal is to further build partnerships with universities, citizens and private industries working with smart technologies to tackle challenges and improve quality of life for businesses, residents and visitors across the Dublin region.”

‘Match’ is based on a geo-fenced area in the app where passengers can use the service, with passengers notified of ‘Match’ availability when inside the virtual fence.  The geo-fenced areas have taxi-sharing options available 24/7 and fares are calculated transparently using the technology on the app.

The expansion of ‘Match’ is the latest development in the growth of the FREE NOW app’s services in Ireland. The app carried a record number of almost 5 million passengers in the second quarter of 2019, with 506 taxi drivers joining its fleet over this period to help meet ongoing growth in customer demand on the app.  The company now has a fleet of over 13,000 drivers in total, which is more than every other taxi company in the country combined.

Under the themes of Smart Environment and Smart Mobility, Smart Dublin has engaged with local authority champions working on solutions to investigate and introduce EV charging points, reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion and provide alternative transport options.