New combined transport app launched

in News · 10-06-2020 12:00:00 · 0 Comments

Free Now mobile application integrates TVDE services - transport in uncharacterised passenger cars that migrate from the Kapten platform, taxis, scooters and electric bikes on to one platform.

Speaking to Lusa agency, the director general of Free Now in Portugal, Sérgio Pereira, explained that Portugal will be the first of nine countries to make this total migration and was also the country chosen to host the international customer support centre of the 'app'.

“We want to be the mobility portal and we want to offer mobility as a service”, he began by explaining, stating that Free Now will be the first “to be able to offer / create an 'app' of mobility providers as broad as possible, so that it can in some way respond to the needs of users”.

The mobility platform Free Now, which started to be called MyTaxi, and which used to make taxi transport using a mobile phone application, will become part of Kapten's TVDE, which started its activity in Portugal as Chauffer Privé.

It will then be the first 'app' in the country to offer both taxi and TVDE, in the same application, in addition to scooters and electric bicycles (from Hive), explained Sérgio Pereira, stressing that these are applications that belong to the same group and, as such, “customer data migration” will be done, according to data protection rules, as users will have to accept the migration.

Sérgio Pereira explained that the process started to be outlined before the covid-19 pandemic, advancing that “expansion cannot happen at the national level now”, due to the situation that is being experienced, this is “a short term objective”.

“Kapten was focused on Lisbon and Porto and Free Now also focused on those two cities. Now, we will continue to offer the service and in the short / medium term expand our ‘app’ to more points and cities in the country,” he said.

According to Sérgio Pereira, it is "difficult to offer a pure TVDE" outside the big cities, since it "must use a platform that generates critical mass" and this only manages to do it in big cities.

In cities like Évora, Viseu or Leiria, exemplified Sérgio Pereira, it becomes “more complicated to reach this critical mass and have the necessary volume”.

“An app like Free Now, which offers various types of mobility, can more quickly serve these cities, we have a medium-term plan to extend it to the entire country,” he said.

Currently with eight thousand TVDE drivers at Kapten, Free Now will also have 2,500 taxi drivers, thus having more than 10,000 drivers available in Lisbon and Porto.

The application also has 800 scooters and 90 electric bicycles in the country.

“Drivers and customers will migrate to the same application and, joining the two (Kapten and MyTaxi), there will be almost one million users. Taxi drivers will also have customers from the old Kapten”, he said.

Asked about the difficulty of bringing together taxi and TVDE drivers, taking into account the troubled past between them, Sérgio Pereira acknowledged that “in a pool of eight thousand drivers there are always divergent opinions”, stressing, however, that they were explained “all the advantages of the merger”.

“The future will depend on the partnerships that we are going to establish since we want to offer mobility as a service”, he stressed, exemplifying with an eventual monthly payment that gives access to a “range of services that may be more relevant to choose, depending on the reason for the trip, the day of the week, the time of day”.

Due to the current pandemic situation, the protection of drivers and passengers has become a priority and is already part of the fleet with physical divisions between the driver's space and the passengers transported in the rear seat, now extending these measures to all taxis and TVDEs, reinforcing the constant hygiene of vehicles and offering all drivers gel and masks.

With regard to Hive scooters and electric bicycles, disinfection procedures were reinforced with an increase in frequency, with the equipment being cleaned every morning.

The Free Now group - which results from the joint venture of the BMW Group and Daimler AG - is currently present in more than 150 cities across Europe and Latin America, making its services available to more than 41 million users in 17 markets.


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