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GROUND TRANSPORT


to reduce risk for business travellers, including the travellers themselves. “Technology will increase the amount of information


we have at hand to assess any risks and provide a clearer picture. Both companies and employees will be able to see which vendors are trusted when booking transport, and whether they should travel through a particular area.” MaaS – like many technology-based solutions to busi-


ness travel problems – sounds great in theory with plenty of obvious advantages for both the traveller and buyer. But it’s still very early days in the process and the road test will be how well it works in practice – can MaaS really solve the ground transport conundrum and offer the one single solution the industry has been crying out for? We will have to wait and see. Just an improvement in booking capability will be one big step forward for the industry. ■ ACTE’s Stephanie Smook on ground transport, p95


the amount per month users of the Whim app can pay in Helsinki for unlimited and


€499


bikes, taxis, rental cars and car sharing


SOURCE: MAAS GLOBAL


unrestricted travel on public transport, city


ROAD TESTING NEW SERVICES


Western Europe is set to lead the development of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) over the next few years, according to a report by Juniper Research, with the region forecast to account for 83 per cent of all MaaS-based trips around the world by 2023, which will replace an estimated 2.3 billion private car journeys per year. The cities best prepared for the deployment of MaaS solutions are Helsinki, Stockholm, Vienna, Amsterdam and Austin in the US.


Car rental prices in the UK are expected to fall by around 0.5 per cent this year, according to the latest research from American Express Global Business Travel. It says the market will be affected by Europe’s economic “slowdown” and car hire rates are predicted to fall in Germany (-1.5 per cent ), Italy (-2 per cent) and Spain (-2.5 per cent) but are set to rise by 1 per cent in France, according to the travel management company’s Ground Monitor 2019 report.


Chauffeur company Blacklane has revealed its new branding, including a redesigned logo (above), a refreshed colour scheme and an updated tagline – “Upgrade your travels”. The firm says this was chosen to focus on the traveller benefits of its services. New company images of real drivers and airport concierges recognise the brand’s partners around the world, which give Blacklane a presence in more than 500 airports globally. Blacklane says its model halved the cost of legacy limo rides while increasing local driver partners’ revenues and also standardised service across more than 300 cities, eliminating industry fees. In 2017, it became the first ride service to offset all trips’ carbon emissions worldwide. Most recently, it began offering a global concierge service to escort travellers from “curb to gate”.


82 JULY/AUGUST 2019


Uber has launched an on-demand electric bike service in London in partnership with Jump. Uber’s app allows users to unlock 350 of the red bikes, which are capable of reaching speeds of up to 15 miles per hour, as part of a pilot scheme in the London borough of Islington. The bikes can be unlocked for £1 and then are charged at 12p per minute to ride, with the first five minutes free. They can be left in special service areas after use.


Car hire firm Sixt has launched its new car-sharing service Sixt


Share, which is now available in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Sixt Share can be booked through the company’s app, alongside existing services, including conventional car rental, and taxi/transfer services. Sixt plans to extend the car-sharing option to other European markets by the end of this year.


Addison Lee Group has been selected to take part in a £15 million government-backed consortium, which will launch 15 autonomous low-emission vehicles in London by 2021. The on-demand vehicles will be located in areas of the UK capital currently “poorly served” by existing public transport networks and will be operated through an app.


CMAC Group has acquired Nottinghamshire-based Cabline, which specialises in offering managed taxi and transport services. CMAC, which purchased Cabfind in 2018, said the latest deal allowed it to “significantly strengthen” its presence in the UK private hire market. Cabline employs around 50 staff with a turnover of more than £10 million per year.


buyingbusinesstravel.com


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