It may be inconvenient and time consuming. Which is why Finnish startup MaaS International determined to mixture all these companies into one app referred to as Whim. Accessible in additional than 10 cities throughout Europe and Asia, customers can entry taxis, buses, bikes, e-scooters and rental automobiles.
“Whim’s sole goal is to compete in opposition to automobile possession,” CEO Sampo Hietanen tells CNN Enterprise.
He admits this is not a simple activity. To succeed Whim needs to be extra handy and cheaper than proudly owning a automobile. “The automobile represents freedom of mobility,” says Hietanen — even when a metropolis dweller barely makes use of it, they nonetheless preserve it parked exterior as a “freedom insurance coverage.”
To compete, Whim affords rental automobiles and taxis, however Hietanen says that customers are inclined to go for public transport or micromobility (shared light-weight autos corresponding to bikes or e-scooters).
Customers can select between a number of tiers of service, together with a pay-as-you-go choice and a 30-day season ticket, which prices €62 ($73) in Helsinki — the place the app is most established — for limitless public transport and quick taxi rides. The ticket additionally affords automobile rental from €55 ($65) per day.
Whereas Helsinki has well-developed options to driving, that is not true of in all places. If a metropolis “doesn’t have a large public transport system or numerous rental automobiles or taxis in place” then will probably be troublesome to persuade folks to surrender their automobiles, says Maria Kamargianni, affiliate professor of transport and power at College Faculty London.
However the enterprise has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, says Hietanen; with fewer folks touring, revenues are decrease, stalling the corporate’s enlargement into different cities.
“We have identified from the start that the funding wanted to create this may be substantial,” he says, including that the corporate has lately secured additional funding.
That is already taking place, says Hietanen. In keeping with an organization survey carried out in Helsinki, 12% of its customers stated that Whim had prompted them to surrender their automobiles. “Individuals need the extra sustainable resolution,” he says, “however they nonetheless need the liberty of having the ability to go wherever, anytime.”