There are hundreds of travel apps on the App Store, but hardly a few can make your journey comfortable. Globetrotters find it challenging to reach some unknown places, where not all vehicles trundle. A traveler requires different vehicles for a different trip. From public transit to bikes, cheap taxis and rental cars – everything should be just a tap away.
Thankfully, Whim happened at the right time. In 2015, Whim was tested by its creators, Maas Global, and the following year, it was released for public use. However, the app was and is available in just three countries: Finland (birthplace), the UK, and Belgium. Maas Global is planning to make this available in more countries in time to come.
Whim: Replace Your Personal Vehicles with an App
There is no comparison between an app and a personal vehicle. Still, the app is touted as the one that will work as a better substitute for your vehicle. A single app is so powerfully developed that you don’t need to use your own vehicle to travel in your city.
You will find the best way to go from one place to another, mixing public transport, and a variety of options from participating private companies. So what are those ‘variety of options’?
Well, you can hire a taxi, a car, or a two-wheeler like a city bike to reach your destination. There are many destinations, where there is no obvious route. Here, Whim suggests you a bicycle from the city’s bike-share scheme.
Multiple Travel Modes
Whim’s ability to combine multiple travel formats sets it apart from other travel apps. Every traveler knows that making a travel plan is one thing and making it happen is another. Travelers get free advice on their routes by digital maps and friendly locals too. But they know after getting this help, they have to reach there on their own. They are supposed to find a way to bus stop or train station or call a cab.
Booking tickets for a different lap of journey is another headache. People have to rely on their legs to reach the final destination from the mass transit. This is tiresome. Whim changes the way you travel. There is no guesswork as it combines various options in the most efficient and cost-effective ways, and getting the user seamlessly from door to door.
Whim is easy to use. In just three steps, you can plan your travel within a city: select how you want to travel; take a ticket, and you are ready to go. The app offers you three monthly plans: Whim to Go, Whim Urban, and Whim Unlimited. The best thing is you can cancel your trip anytime.
Why is Whim a better option?
The global population lives in cities; if you check the reports, half the world’s population lived in cities in 2007. It is expected that by 2050, this figure will reach two-thirds. Of all kilometers traveled by people, two-thirds are traveled in urban areas. This will increase by three folds by 2050 and the urban drivers will be spending an average of 106 hours per year in traffic jams.
To deal with the situation, governments of all countries need to pump in massive budgets to expand public transport and build more roads. This can be a distant dream to achieve; for a quick solution, Whim offers a facility to use existing public and private transport for the benefit of travelers. This is a unique way of attracting private capital into ‘public’ transportation. Whim is a strong link between supply and demand and makes public transport more efficient.
Apart from a successful business proposition, Whim helps reduce traffic congestion and emission of pollutants from millions of vehicles on roads.
Low Adoption of Whim
Whim is easy for users, the real customers. But it is quite a challenge for its developers to bring everything to the table so that users have a seamless experience.
The app needs 3 to 5 percent of the area’s population to subscribe to its monthly package. This subscription will enable Whim to buy transport services in bulk and make some profit from individual clients.
Many consumers from Helsinki, the capital of Finland, have adopted Whim and given up their vehicles. The challenge for Whim is to provide the type of cars customers need at the place and time they need.
Whim is inviting service providers to help them expand their wings in other cities and countries. Maas Global has already raised about 16.5 million euros ($19.3 million) from some transport companies, which include Toyota Financial Services and Transdev SA. Service providers are also calculating how much return they would get from this business.
Currently, the company is working in the Birmingham area in the UK. Moreover, the project is underway in Amsterdam, Vienna, Berlin, and Munich. Potential locations in North America are Miami, Seattle, and Vancouver.
Whim will undoubtedly revolutionize the way people travel. At present, the app is available only in three countries, but I wish the app were available across the globe to move comfortably in cities.
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