A new “eco” booking option enabling passengers to choose electric or hybrid taxis has launched today on the FREE NOW app.
The eco booking function, available in Dublin immediately, has been introduced “to help customers choose more environmentally-friendly transport options.”
Almost a fifth (18%) of taxis on Ireland’s largest e-hailing app are electric or hybrid.
A recent survey of FREE NOW passengers showed that since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, almost 70% of people are now more environmentally-aware in their day-to-day routines, including when making decisions on how to travel.
Nine in 10 passengers said they would consider an eco taxi if it was available.
The eco booking option is available in several European markets already with eco taxi's accounting for over 40% of taxi trips in London.
In conjunction with the new booking option, FREE NOW has called on the Government to consider introducing a 'Green Travel Taxi Credit.' This would encourage passengers to switch to ‘greener’ taxis by enabling them to claim money back for every journey taken in an eco vehicle, the company said.
Launching the new booking option, Niall Carson General Manager for FREE NOW in Ireland, said: “The abrupt nature of the COVID pandemic and its widespread damage to public health and the economy has been stark, but its unintended consequence of reducing carbon emissions and pollution presents an opportunity for society.”
“We want to help the public capitalise on these recent carbon-reduction improvements by helping passengers and drivers to make the switch to more environmentally-friendly vehicles, and the new eco booking option is a significant step in this respect.
“While Ireland still has a way to go, we have the potential to lead the way when it comes to innovative and greener transport options. We are keen to work with the Government to see how we can encourage passengers to choose greener transport modes, how we can help drivers make the ‘green’ switch, and ultimately how to improve air quality and make our cities better places to live in.”
Alan Murphy, Smart Dublin Regional Manager welcomed the launch and said: “It is encouraging to see that FREE NOW has launched a specific booking option for greener vehicles.”
“I hope that it will encourage more people to think about the environment and air quality in this city when choosing their mode of transport," he said.