In just a few weeks’ time the Mytaxi brand will be consigned to history, but with its rebrand comes a new taxi-share service.
In February it was announced that the Mytaxi was to undergo yet another name change after a €1bn deal was signed between German auto giants Daimler and BMW. This new service is known as Free Now, becoming one of five ventures spanning various transport services.
Now, Mytaxi has confirmed that its original brand will be killed off as of 2 July, after which it will become Free Now. All customer data and the app itself will be transferred to the new brand.
One of the first big changes will be the introduction of a new taxi-sharing service simply called ‘Match’. Expected to begin a pilot phase in Dublin in the coming months, the service will allow passengers travelling in the same direction to pair up and split the fare.
The pilot was already trialled on a smaller scale in Limerick and will initially be operational in the Grand Canal Dock area and Sandyford Industrial Estate. Future Dublin locations will then be added as the pilot phase progresses.
As part of the pilot, Mytaxi will geofence the location in the app where passengers can use the new feature, and anyone looking to start a journey will be notified when in those areas.
To do this, Mytaxi has partnered with Smart Dublin, a collaborative initiative of the four Dublin local authorities that works with universities, citizens and private industries to develop smart cities.
“Taxis are one of the most flexible forms of transport, but usually do not travel to full capacity,” said Alan Fox, general manager for Mytaxi Ireland.
“Our new ‘match’ technology forms part of a smart solution to better use Mytaxi’s fleet in Ireland, particularly at peak hours, and offers passengers a cheaper, more environmentally friendly taxi-sharing service.”
Mytaxi received considerable public backlash in May after it announced plans to introduce a €5 passenger cancellation fee for the service at the end of June. It said this was to reduce cancellations and “boost fleet efficiency”. The Consumers’ Association of Ireland criticised the move by saying drivers who failed to turn up to bookings should also be penalised.