Every week we bring you the FreshMinds Friday picks – ideas to help you make the most of digital technologies and understand how they are helping brands to grow and innovate. Ahead of next week’s proposed tube strike, we’re looking at 5 great apps to help you get around London without having to use the underground.
Barclays Cycle Hire
Allowing Londoners to rent one of 10, 000 bikes across the capital, the Barclays Cycle Hire programme is the second largest bike share scheme in Europe. The premise is simple – use the app to find a nearby docking station, rent a bike and then return it once you reach your destination. Since the scheme’s launch in 2010, over 26 million journeys have been made, demonstrating that the principles of the collaborative economy, where people opt to share goods and services with one another, as apposed to owning them themselves, are resonating with consumers.
Whilst it’s not strictly an app, Liftshare is another great example of how digital tools are enabling consumers to connect with one another and facilitate the sharing goods and services. As its name suggests, Liftshare is a free car sharing service – the largest of its kind in the UK. The service works by asking users to enter details of their desired car journey and then connecting them with others who are going the same way. Members can then ask for a lift, offer a lift or if the journey in question is a regular commute, they can agree to share the driving with another user. Liftshare is not the only car sharing service to have emerged in the past couple of years. Membership-based car sharing company, ZipCar, has also boomed recently, whilst America’s peer-to-peer ridesharing service, Lyft, announced plans to expand to a further 24 US new cities yesterday – clear signs of the burgeoning collaborative economy.
A FreshMinds favourite, this ingenious app helps you work out the best route from A to B by integrating data from a number of sources, including information on rail, underground and bus services. CityMapper also uses weather data to provide an indicated temperature on arrival as well as weather conditions for your destination. Plus, it provides real-time information on routes suffering from disruptions, making it the ideal app to help you plan your journey during the tube strike.
This great little app helps you track down a taxi by using your phone’s GPS signal to connect you with nearby drivers. The app has a number of useful features including a map for tracking your taxi’s location in real-time and a handy payment system which allows you to charge the journey straight to your credit card. By harnessing mobile technology in this way, Uber has transformed the experience of ordering a taxi, making it much more simple and intuitive for the user. By doing so, Uber has been able to compete with established companies in this space and build a successful business that operates in over 70 countries across the globe.
Like Uber, Kabbee allows users to book a taxi via their smartphone at any time of the day or night. The app compares data from over 70 cab companies to provide users with a number of quotes, which they can then sorted by price, location or user rating, before booking. Empowering consumers with data in this way is proving to be popular – over 280, 000 Londoners have downloaded the app so far.