75% increase in ride-hailing requests as Ireland eases out of lockdown restrictions


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  • Week on week ride hailing requests surrounding the Penneys areas are up 17% (Blanchardstown, Liffey Valley, City Centre, Dundrum)
  • Saturday was the busiest day of the week with 23% of all requests occurring on that day
  • Sunday Morning between 1am – 2am was the busiest hour of the week with almost 2 requests every second

FREE NOW has seen a surge in bookings and confirmed that last week was the busiest week on the app this year, with a massive 75% uplift in ride-hailing requests week on week. The reopening of services and retail appointments on Monday May 10th led to these record level of ride-hailing requests with Saturday accounting for 23% of these requests.

After the longest lockdown in Europe, a hair, nails or Penneys appointment were the hottest tickets in the town last week. With 275,000 Penneys appointments confirmed last week it’s no surprise that ride hailing requests surrounding the Penneys areas (Blanchardstown, Liffey Valley, City Centre, Dundrum) were up 17% week on week.

Whilst hair and retail appointments were high on the agenda last week, the scenic hotspots in Dublin remained a fan favourite, with a 28% week on week increase in ride-hailing requests to popular destinations – Malahide, Portmarnock, Sandymount, Howth, Sandycove.

Trips to the phoenix park area were also up 22% from the previous week. This was largely driven by the reopening of Dublin Zoo, a much-needed escape for families all over the country.

Saturday was the busiest day on the app and demand was up 53% between 5pm-6pm, showing that Dubliners were either laden down with Penneys bags after a coveted shopping appointment or had arranged a long-awaited garden get together with friends.

1am – 2am was the busiest hour of the week on the app with an incredible almost 2 ride hailing requests every second, this perhaps demonstrates that catch ups with friends and family lasted long into the night for many Dubliners.

FREE NOW predicts that while this was indeed the first week of eased restrictions in Ireland, bookings are anticipated to continue rising as we start to return to normal with the reopening of all retail today, and outdoor dining on June 7th.  FREE NOW is also the only ride hailing app to offer an eco-booking option, meaning guilt free travel for everyone.

Niall Carson, General Manager FREE NOW Ireland commented: “After an extended period of national lockdown, it is reassuring to see our society opening back up in line with government guidelines since May 10th. FREE NOW is committed to providing safe and convenient transport for consumers as further restrictions lift in the coming weeks and hospitality and retail begin to thrive throughout the summer. 

Like so many sectors across Ireland, the transport sector and specifically taxi drivers have been impacted significantly by the Covid-19 pandemic, with national mobility levels down to some of their lowest on record in the past year. 

Taxi drivers have played an incredibly important role in keeping the nation moving since the pandemic began – and with a 75% increase in trips since the easing of restrictions earlier this month, we are confident that they will continue to be part of the fabric that supports our emergence from the pandemic and our national reboot.”