Words: Ellen Kenny
No better way to deal with the taxi shortage than to get home after a night out using some e-bikes.
Taxi app Free Now have announced that they’re introducing an e-bike scheme to Dublin in collaboration with micromobility company Tier.
Users will be able to book e-bikes through the app by scanning the individual QR of a bike. E-bikes will be located across Dublin, with a map on the app showing users where they can find one. Unlike other rental bikes such as NOW Bikes, Free Now bikes will not have specific docking stations.
The initial roll-out will test out 100 bikes in Blanchardstown, Swords, Malahide, Baldoyle, Portmarnock and Howth. Free Now also plans to introduce more bikes in Fingal in the coming months before introducing them to the city.
This announcement comes as the Government passes new legislation about e-bikes in Ireland. According to the Bill, any e-bikes or e-scooters that don’t travel above speeds of 25 kilometres per hour will be exempt from registration, tax or insurance.
Free Now previously stated they would introduce e-scooters to Ireland once the necessary legislation has passed.
The e-bike partnership with Tier follows an e-scooter trial across five Dublin City University campuses last year.
“The integration of electric micromobility on the Free Now app will enable our passengers to consider more sustainable transport choices in addition to our eco booking taxi option,” said Free Now general manager Niall Carson.
“After the success of our e-scooter trial last year and now this e-bike launch, we are excited about what the future holds for Free Now in the multimobility space in Ireland.”
In order to introduce these e-bikes to Dublin, Free Now previously introduced a one euro “technology fee” to all taxi fares. The fee is independent to the duration of the journey and the number of passengers in the taxi. Drivers will not receive any part of the technology fee.
The new fee, which came into effect on August 1, means that a Free Now taxi costs 7.20 euros before the journey has even began. And with the continuing taxi shortage, hopefully these new e-bikes are worth their cost.
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