Pictured above: Rosemary Keogh and Niall Carson
As part of the partnership, FREE NOW has committed to a range of initiatives to help make their service more accessible for people with physical disabilities which includes:
Training and education: FREE NOW drivers will be provided with Irish Wheelchair Association disability awareness training to improve passenger experience.
In-app improvements: Working with the Irish Wheelchair Association, FREE NOW will make in-app improvements in order to make it easier for wheelchair users to access FREE NOW’s taxi services.
FREE NOW and Irish Wheelchair Association National Mobility Conference: FREE NOW and Irish Wheelchair Association will run our first-ever ‘National Mobility Conference’ which will take place in autumn of 2021. The virtual event will bring the transport industry and mobility sector together to focus on mobility accessibility in Ireland.
This partnership forms part of FREE NOW’s ambitious Make a Move initiative which seeks to create a more sustainable and inclusive society in the communities that FREE NOW operates in.
Launching this partnership, Niall Carson, General Manager, FREE NOW Ireland, said: “As Ireland’s leading ride hailing app our vision is to create a society where we all enjoy equal opportunities to travel, work and socialise. Equal access to transport for all is incredibly important in enabling this vision under our Make a Move initiative and our partnership with the IWA is us stepping up to play a role to help make this happen in Ireland. We look forward to working with the IWA over the coming years to spotlight the transport and mobility issues facing people with disabilities in Ireland and to also improve our own service for wheelchair users.”
Commenting on the partnership, Rosemary Keogh, CEO of the Irish Wheelchair Association, said: “Everyone here at Irish Wheelchair Association is delighted to have FREE NOW on board as a long term partner. Transport is key to people with physical disabilities realising their independence. FREE NOW have really taken the time to understand the transport and mobility challenges faced by our members. We look forward to working together on some innovative solutions that will help shape an environment where all can access safe and convenient public transportation options.”
As part of its partnership, FREE NOW will not only work closely with IWA charity to raise awareness of the transport and mobility issues facing wheelchair users but also to help raise funds for the organisation. To kick-start this fundraising effort, FREE NOW has contributed €40,000 to Irish Wheelchair Association. This initial donation is part of a wider series of measures FREE NOW are taking to ensure inclusivity within their service. FREE NOW currently provides commission free jobs on all wheelchair accessible trips for their drivers in order to encourage drivers to provide wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) services and to improve in-app service levels by increasing WAV drivers available.
About FREE NOW
FREE NOW is Ireland’s leading mobility app and has been active in the market for nine years. Next to ride hailing, FREE NOW also offers a range of mobility services such as e-scooters, e-bikes, e-mopeds as well as car sharing across Europe. Moving over 16 million people a year, operating in over 20 towns and cities across Ireland offering drivers a pay as you go solution to their business and passengers the opportunity to pay by card, business account or cash if they wish. FREE NOW is part of the FREE NOW Group, the multi service mobility joint venture from Daimler and BMW. The Group attracts 41 million users in 17 markets and more than 150 cities. This makes the FREE NOW Group the biggest ride hailing provider in Europe and the fastest-growing in Latin America. Niall Carson is the General Manager of FREE NOW Ireland, the CEO of the FREE NOW Group is Marc Berg. Further information about FREE NOW is available at www.free-now.com