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He drove a FreeNow taxi 480 km from Krakow to Poznan. A record from the company’s 10-year history

FreeNow wants to change the taxi driver registry and it’s worth listening to them

Before we get to the record breaking title, let’s look at one very important issue that FreeNow wants to change. If by some miracle you don’t traditional fees for a concrete relic of the past, this information may convince you. There is no digital or central registry of taxi drivers in Poland. Licenses are issued by municipalities and allow you to work only on the territory of the municipality. The effect is that Tri-City taxi drivers may have licenses from several dozen communes, as they would otherwise be unable to move freely between cities.

The practical and procedural issues, not to mention the financial ones, are one. If a driver loses his license in a given municipality, because of his behavior on the road or towards passengers, nothing is lost. Just go to another one parish commune and will make a new license and can continue to work, albeit a little further. As long as she has a driver’s license, it doesn’t matter if it was for rude behavior or sexual harassment. No one checks it, no one checks it, because there is no such possibility. The creation of a central and digital registry at the national level would significantly increase safety during travel.

Read also: Bolt reacts to taxi rape. The company invests in improving safety

FreeNow in numbers. The longest route was actually 480 kilometers

On December 1, 2012, still as part of MyTaxi, the first course of today’s FreeNow took place. Route from Garbarska St. to Polish Wings St. in Warsaw, as the service initially operated only in the capital, it was 7.5 km long. Interestingly, a customer named Lukasz is still an active FreeNow user. As well as the 11 drivers who have been with the company since the beginning.

In total, customers traveled 215,161,027.98 km, which is 5,269 times around the Earth. The number of trips is constantly growing. Today, even two trips per second are ordered during peak hours, and the record for one-day orders was broken in mid-November 2022. In turn, the record day for renting scooters is August 22, 2022 – one unit every 9 seconds . Overall, the number of travel orders increased year-on-year (already up to 60 million trips per year), but fell during the 2020 pandemic. In addition, the total number of customers using FreeNow decreased slightly. However, the number of drivers is growing exponentially, and in 2022 they are three times more than in 2021. A total of over 25,000, of which 33.2% in Warsaw, 15.1% in Tri-City, 12.2% in Krakow, 9.2% in Wrocław and 5.4% in Poznan.

This is also related to expansion in other cities. In total, there are 25 of them in Poland, including as many as 16 new ones in 2022. In 10 of them, we will also order Dott and Tier scooters from the FreeNow app. Only FreeNow today operates in 10 countries and over 170 cities, and in 80% of them it is the most popular or the second most popular transport service. Poland is in the TOP5 markets where the company is present.

The record ride was actually 480 km long. The customer traveled from Krakow to Poznan. Unfortunately, we don’t know how much he paid for the course. The important thing is that it is an actual and paid trip, because as you know, out of pure curiosity, anyone can generate one to see how much it will cost. Staying with the records, the most trips per passenger are over 6000. Although there are bills bigger and these are corporate hotel accounts. Novotel in Warsaw and Puro in Krakow have over 13,000 in their portfolio. trips.

Cashless in-app payments have reigned supreme at FreeNow since 2017, beating cash 78% – 22%. A year earlier it was 59% – 41% in favor of cash. Why this change? This is a promotional effect. FreeNow promotes in-app payments, for example with various types of vouchers and discounts. It’s important that it worked, because in 2022, in-app payments are winning at a ratio of 92% – 8%. The level above 90% has been maintained since 2020.

Read also: 6 million iPhones will not reach customers. Apple has never had such big delays before

How does FreeNow Driver Rating and Recruitment work?

At the start of work in FreeNow, only the driver’s car is evaluated. Depending on the year, it is assigned to a specific shelf of services (basic, light, premium, etc.). The driver is rated by customers. What is worth doing after each course, because about 3/4 of the trips remain unmarked and, as you can easily guess, we are more inclined to give negative ratings if we have to than positive ones. The rating threshold is 4.7/5 and this is the average of the last 100 trips, so a negative rating cannot be invented overnight.

A driver with a low rating is subject to 2 weeks of observation and conversations with headquarters, where the reason for the low rating is sought. Sometimes it can be a matter of the car, some kind of damage that is easy to fix. But other times, irresponsible driving or… political views are to blame. Some drivers can torture passengers with them and, interestingly enough, usually if this is the reason for the low ratings, most drivers are successful convert. If there is no improvement in the driver’s behavior, he is thrown out of the company.

Drivers can work for different companies. FreeNow boasts that it typically has a double-digit percentage share when it comes to time spent driving for them compared to Bolt or Uber. The benefit for drivers is wrapping the car in FreeNow colors. For the company, this is additional recognition and rewards for drivers. On the one hand, these are, for example, multisport cards, fuel discounts or medical protection. On the other hand, the algorithm for determining arrivals rewards cars with stickers. For example, if there is a track in the area and the algorithm has a choice of two cars, wrapped and not, the driver of the first one will be the first to be offered a course.

Today, about 30-40% of FreeNow’s drivers are foreigners. Mainly from Ukraine, who have a significant numerical advantage over the second-placed Georgians. A foreigner must meet the same official requirements as a Polish driver. Importantly, FreeNow only accepts people with Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Georgian and Russian driving licenses. This is for a simple reason. The company simply cannot verify that the document presented by people from an exotic country, such as the heart of Africa, is actually a driver’s license. This further increases security.

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FreeNow’s future plans

FreeNow announces further development and entry into new market areas. Although its representatives ensure that the business can remain as it is now and the business will be profitable. The company was also profitable during the pandemic years 2020-2021. However, the investments are underway, which we will see next year.

FreeNow plans, following the example of other countries, to start selling tickets for public transport. If you don’t need to scan QR codes in Warsaw transport, as is the case with SkyCash, then they already have their first customer. The company also wants to offer a car-sharing service. We still don’t know with which partner it will be held. FreeNow clearly states that it has no plans to introduce a food delivery or shopping service.

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