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Why is my taxi called free now?

Mytaxi rebranded to FREE NOW in 2019 as part of a major mobility merger

If you‘ve used the mytaxi app for years to hail rides, you may be wondering why it‘s now called FREE NOW. The name change happened in 2019 when mytaxi joined FREE NOW, a new joint mobility venture between auto giants Daimler and BMW.

By consolidating multiple brands under one umbrella, FREE NOW aims to give users freedom of movement across Europe‘s major cities. The rebranding brought mytaxi, Beat, Kapten, Clever, and hive together into one powerful app.

So in short, your taxi is now called free now because mytaxi has expanded into a broader mobility service while aligning with FREE NOW‘s vision of flexibility and freedom.

FREE NOW brings streamlined access to taxis, rideshares, scooters, bikes, and more

As an avid gamer and streaming fan myself, I‘m excited by how FREE NOW opens up multimodal access to transportation with just a few taps. Their app now integrates everything from old-school taxis to new e-scooters and bike shares, ridesplitting, and public transit.

According to FREE NOW‘s latest statistics:

  • They operate in over 100 European cities across 9 countries
  • The app has over 50 million downloads
  • More than 150,000 drivers and fleet partners work with FREE NOW
  • Over 4 million rides are completed each month

By bringing major mobility brands together, FREE NOW has scaled rapidly since its launch just 3 years ago. Their expansion shows the potential for super apps to connect urban riders with streamlined mobility options.

Taxi rides remain a core focus alongside new mobility services

While FREE NOW has expanded its services, they remain fully committed to traditional taxis. In fact, they still have the largest taxi network in Europe with over 100,000 registered taxi drivers.

As an everyday taxi rider myself, I appreciate that FREE NOW still has close ties with local taxi companies. This gives riders the assurance and convenience of hailing a licensed cab, while also gaining access to new modes like e-bikes and rideshares.

FREE NOW also offers benefits tailored specifically for taxi riders through their FREE NOW Plus membership. This includes:

  • Priority access to taxis at airports
  • 10% discount off metered fares
  • Pre-booking up to 30 days in advance
  • And more rewards still to come…

So even with the shift to become a broader mobility platform, taxis continue to be a core focus for FREE NOW.

The rebranding aimed to capture the spirit of flexible mobility

When I first heard about mytaxi becoming FREE NOW, I‘ll admit the new name seemed a bit odd. But after digging into their rebranding process, the name makes more sense.

FREE NOW executive Tom Guy explained it as bringing "freedom of mobility" to riders across Europe. The name aims to capture the flexibility the app provides to get around whether by taxi, shared ride, rental bike, or other transport mode.

The old mytaxi name was too limiting for the expanded range of options now offered. FREE NOW signals the freedom to choose how you want to get from A to B.

As a techie who loves clever branding, I give points to FREE NOW for coming up with a name reflective of their service vision. It might take some getting used to, but FREE NOW effectively communicates the app‘s mission.

How the FREE NOW app works for riders

As a regular user of FREE NOW myself, let me walk you through how to use the app to request rides:

  1. Download the FREE NOW app on your iOS or Android phone and set up an account.
  2. Enter your destination by typing in an address or selecting a spot on the map.
  3. Choose your ride type – taxi, private car, shared ride etc based on estimated time/cost.
  4. Get matched with a nearby driver and track them on a live map. Read their reviews too!
  5. Hop in and enjoy the ride, then payment happens automatically after so no cash or cards needed.

Helpful features include fare estimates, driver profiles, ride sharing, and membership perks. You can even do things like pre-book airport rides up to a month ahead.

As a regular rider, I find the FREE NOW app super convenient for getting around town. The process from hail to ride is seamless.

How FREE NOW contrasts with competitors like Uber

As ride-hailing apps abound, FREE NOW differentiates itself in some key ways from giants like Uber:

  • Works closely with taxi companies: FREE NOW has partnerships with local cab companies in each market. Uber focuses solely on private rideshares.
  • Licensed, professional drivers: All FREE NOW taxi drivers are licensed cabbies. Uber uses non-commercially licensed drivers.
  • Taxi-sharing offered: You can share taxis through FREE NOW‘s match service to save money. Uber doesn‘t allow ridesplitting.
  • Fare estimates shown upfront: FREE NOW shows the fare before you book so no surprises. Uber fares depend on time/traffic.
  • Broad mobility offerings: From bikes to taxis, FREE NOW integrates transport diversity. Uber concentrates on rideshares.

As a rider interested in value and convenience, I prefer FREE NOW‘s approach of bringing taxis together with upstart mobility modes. The mix of options and features makes getting around easy for tech-savvy users like myself.

In closing…

To wrap up this guide, mytaxi rebranded itself to FREE NOW as part of a major mobility merger pushing for seamless urban transport across Europe. For most riders, functionality stays the same even as FREE NOW expands offerings. Taxis remain a core focus while new options like e-bikes bring flexibility. Despite the odd name, FREE NOW effectively captures the spirit of freedom and choice they aim to bring riders.

As a happy FREE NOW customer myself, I‘m excited to see how they continue enhancing smart mobility in our cities. The potential for innovation is just getting started!