Think like Swiss start-up Taxmobil which is about to offer unlimited taxi use for a flat-rate charge of EUR 48 a month. Customers will be able to buy a Taxmobil card online or from sales points around the city, and can call for a car to pick them up at whatever time they choose, travelling to any destination in the city. If two strangers are travelling in the same direction, Taxmobil may combine their journeys.
The key to Taxmobil’s strategy is the fact that it doesn’t own the cars it uses. Instead, it buys the time of idle taxis that are already out and about, creating a service that’s affordable and convenient for customers, and could decrease congestion and parking problems if city dwellers trade in their cars for a Taxmobil card.
Böblingen in Southern Germany is likely to be the first town offering the service, starting early 2009, with other towns across Europe to follow. Travel is only permitted within a city, although members will be able to catch a taxi in other participating cities, too. As well as expanding the service’s reach, Taxmobil will soon be extending its package options by complementing its standard EUR 48 subscription with cards for businesses and families. Discounts and member benefits will be made possible with the cards in future, too.