Free Now is offering to lower healthcare workers' taxi fares by 50 percent. They want to help the travel of healthcare heroes and support medical staff in the national fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new mechanism allows vital healthcare workers to select the new "Medical" fleet-type option on the app to book their taxi and to get 50 percent off their fare. These critical staff then just need to show their medical ID to drivers at the start of their trip, with FREE NOW taking no commission from drivers for these trips.
The new support will be available from mid-morning today to all front-line medical practitioners, supporting healthcare workers as well as those working in primary care services, including porters, cleaners and hospital receptionists.
In a recent survey, FREE NOW drivers have highlighted some of the precautions they are taking to ensure their cars remain clean. These include providing passengers with tissues and keeping the windows slightly open, cleaning their car after every trip, including wiping down door handles and seats as well as only accepting card or app payments to limit the use of cash.
Joe Herron, president of the Irish Taxi Drivers’ Federation, said: “Taxi drivers are extremely glad to be able to play their part in the COVID-19 fight. Our services have been badly hit by the virus and our profession is particularly vulnerable, so this FREE NOW initiative is to be welcomed for multiple reasons.
"Taxi drivers have been deemed an essential service by the government, and this initiative will help vital healthcare workers to get to their critically important jobs as well as supporting struggling drivers in this, the most difficult of times.”
FREE NOW has recommended that drivers and passengers adhere to HSE, Department of Health and government guidance when travelling, with drivers advised to disinfect their cars regularly and to switch to card payment only. The company has temporarily turned off its Match taxi-sharing service.