DUBLIN: Taxi company FreeNow has decided to charge customers an extra €1 to improve its technology and app quality. FreeNow will add an additional €1 to the price of each taxi journey from next month.
The company announced the price increase in an email sent to customers this afternoon. “A technology fee of €1 will apply to all taxi trips booked and successfully completed via the FREE NOW app. These updates will allow us to continue to invest in improving FREE NOW’s technology and app quality,” reads the email.
The price hike follows the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) decision to increase fares in view of increased operational costs. From September 1, taxi fares will increase by an average of 12%.
The standard initial charge will increase from €3.80 to €4.20 under the new taxi fare structure. Between 8pm and 8am, on Sundays and public holidays, the initial charge will go from €4.20 to 4.80.
In a statement, a spokesperson for FreeNow said: “This fee has been introduced to enable FREE NOW to continue to invest in improving its technology, app quality and ultimately the service it provides here in Ireland. The fee will be applicable to all passenger journeys and payable via the app.”
However, Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond believes FreeNow’s price hike is not a good move. “When there’s huge problems getting a taxi at the airport and when we have reports of pre booked fares consistently dropping off app’s like FreeNow – I struggle to see how lumping another charge on customers is a good move,” Richmond said.
“Faith in the taxi sector is at a low point at the moment, especially in Dublin, people want solutions to problems not moves that will simply increase prices. It would be much better if FreeNow were working on cutting costs for customers and encouraging drivers to go out at peak times rather than making up charges,” he added.