Updated: Mar 20, 2020
One of the UK’s leading black cab apps, FREE NOW, has created a specific “NHS Heroes” booking option which offers a reduced fare for NHS workers in London, to allow them to get to and from hospitals safely and quickly.
Following a survey of black cab drivers that use the FREE NOW app, an overwhelming 97% wanted to offer their support for NHS workers during this crisis.
From today, NHS workers will be able to get black cabs to and from work for a reduced rate, which equates to 30% off the lowest tariff. This includes front line medical practitioners, as well as those working to support the running of primary care services, including porters, cleaners and hospital receptionists.
In an effort to further reduce the costs, FREE NOW has also written to the Cabinet Office to explore what more can be done to support NHS staff.
Black cabs are seen to be uniquely positioned to offer trips to healthcare workers as the vehicles have divider screens between driver and passenger to help limit human contact, cabs are easy to clean and manage, and all black cab drivers have unrivalled knowledge of the city to get staff to hospitals as quickly as possible. FREE NOW and black cab drivers are helping to fill the gap as other transport services are reduced.
In addition to the reduced rates and removing commission, FREE NOW is launching a range of other measures such as offering cleaning packs to the drivers taking part in the “NHS Heroes” offering.
Vandana Prashar, Head of Operations at FREE NOW, said: “Black cabs have a strong history of helping in times of crisis, having acted as ambulances in WWI, supported firefighters during the Blitz as well as more recently taking people to safety during terror attacks. We are delighted to be able to launch the “NHS Heroes” option to connect NHS workers to the best taxi service in the world, enabling staff to get to work quickly and safely so they can deliver vital treatment to patients. It is a testament to black cab drivers that they are willing to step up yet again, even when their earnings are taking a hit in these uncertain times to keep London moving.”
Steve MacNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA commented: “Black cabs have been keeping London moving for centuries and in these trying times it is more important than ever that we come together to support health workers. It is great to see that FREE NOW and black cab drivers are working together to support our NHS heroes.”
FREE NOW is offering a similar service in Spain and looking at how this can be rolled out to the 10 countries it operates in across Europe. The NHS heroes booking option is available for all NHS workers from tomorrow and will run in the FREE NOW app for the foreseeable future.
Anybody wishing to sponsor Black Cabs for NHS staff further can contact FREE NOW on: email@example.com.
Image credit (taxi): LEVC
Image credit (mobile screenshot): FREENOW