FREE NOW reveals emerging urban mobility trends for 2023

Posted: 22 February 2023 | | No comments yet

With the number of multimodal trips having gone up by 221%, FREE NOW’s 2023 report reveals the increasing demand for micro-mobility options and a shift towards more sustainable modes of transportation.

FREE NOW reveals emerging urban mobility trends for 2023

FREE NOW has announced that it has released a new report highlighting the emerging urban mobility trends across the UK and Europe for 2023, including the increasing demand for micro-mobility options and the road to net zero emissions.

The report highlights the changing urban mobility trends based on the behaviour of 48 million FREE NOW users across Europe. As the mobility app continues to offer mobility providers across Europe, it has seen a 221% growth in the number of multimodal trips (e-scooters, e-bikes, e-mopeds, car-sharing) while the number of multi-mobility users have grown by 27%.

The number of overall taxi and minicab trips has also increased by more than 50% in the UK during 2022, with London standing out in the rankings of top cities by the number of tours taken.

Across Europe, 73% of rides travelled by e-scooter and 27% by e-bike and in the UK the number of micro-mobility rides had increased to 200% in 2022 alone. The rise in micro-mobility options is evident in London, with the areas surrounding Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Bermondsey as the top locations for FREE NOW micro-mobility users. 

Maruisz Zabrocki, UK General Manager at FREE NOW, said: “The UK is one of our fastest growing markets and we’re proud to be the leaders in the licenced taxi market. 60% of European citizens want one mobility app that integrates all mobility options, instead of individual apps for each transport mode – be it taxi, car-sharing, e-bikes or public transport. As such, we will continue to encourage our users to combine the various transport modes we have on our app, and move from an ownership concept to a shared service that can be booked on-demand.”

Driving public transport usage by harnessing the power of mobility super apps

Urban travellers have increased their expectations regarding sustainability; 91% of Europeans consider sustainable transport options more important or at the same level of importance as before the energy crisis.

FREE NOW, which has been climate neutral since 2020, aims to achieve 100% zero emissions by 2030. The mobility app is currently well on the way to achieving this goal, as the number of EV vehicles in the app grew by 50% across all European countries and more than 100% in the UK, where 70% of the trips are currently done with electrified vehicles.

Stephen Joseph, OBE, Professor at the University of Hertfordshire Smart Mobility Unit and Chair of Smart Transport, said: “This isn’t just about getting around more easily – it’s about the way we want towns and cities to be. Less dominance by private cars means more space for people, green spaces, parklets and cafes, and breathable air.”

The report identifies four key trends for the year ahead, including the concept of the 15-minute city, single app solutions, flexible mobility spending and collaboration for green mobility.