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Mobility subscription app launches in UK

Businesses and private individuals in the West Midlands can now use a travel app to access monthly mobility subscription packages to provide a smart alternative to car-based travel – with the app set to expand to other parts of the UK.

Left to right – Stephan Anescot from Whim, Stuart Everton – Black Country Director of Transport, Whim founder Sampo Hietenan and Kaj Pyyhtia, Chris Perry of Whim

Already on offer in Helsinki, Finland, the Whim travel app has been developed to cut the number of cars on the roads, along with pollution and congestion, and provides access to a number of different modes of public transport including buses, trams, taxis and hire cars, either as part of a monthly fee or on pay-as-you-go.

Backed by organisations including Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), Mayor Andy Street and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Whim will offer Midlanders three options, including a package for £349 per month which includes unlimited public transport, all taxi rides within a three-mile radius of the location and up to 30 days’ car hire per month.

Users can also access an ‘Everyday’ package for £99 per month that covers unlimited public transport with taxis and ‘best-price’ car hire.

National Express, Gett, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, nextbike and other transport providers have already signed up to the scheme with other partners due to be announced in the future.

Whim is also in discussions with four cities in the UK, including London, to launch the scheme and is encouraging dialogue with councils and transport bodies.

Chris Lane, head of transport innovation at Transport for West Midlands, said: “Public transport is at the heart of Whim in providing seamless mobility that is easy to use.

“The benefits this will bring to both consumers and businesses are huge – companies can grow, people can get better access to jobs, and the region will attract more visitors and investment.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.