Mon Chauffeur – SNCF collaborates with Karhoo to offer first and last mile connections to France’s high-speed trains

French rail group SNCF Mobilites is working with urban mobility marketplace Karhoo to offer its customers a better travel experience to and from TGV stations across the country. Together they are establishing a mobility platform, Mon Chauffeur, to offer train users itineraries that include first and last-mile journeys by taxi or private hire vehicle.


Summary:

  • French rail group SNCF Mobilites has collaborated with urban mobility marketplace Karhoo to launch Mon Chauffeur platform, accessible via the OUI.sncf app or website;
  • The platform will allow train users to book first and last-mile journeys by taxi or private hire vehicles from 26 TGV stations in France;
  • Karhoo, backed by car giant Renault, expects journey numbers to grow to a few thousand per day in 2019 as a result of the partnership.

Through the OUI.sncf app or website, passengers will be able to use the platform to book transport to reach or leave train stations throughout France as they make their original train reservations. Alternatively, bookings can be made while on the train with First Class passengers also able to turn to the onboard attendant to book a car.

The platform promises to offer a selection of best offers at the best price, calculated according to the route and paid at the time of order. The service provides a guaranteed reservation, with no queuing, with drivers waiting at a designated meeting point to meet the train service, even if it is running late. It has access to a wide range of vehicles to meet user needs whether a Pro corporate customer or a family. These include Sedan vehicles, 7-seater vans, eco-green vehicles, taxis and motorcycle taxi.

Karhoo says the white-label technology was developed in partnership with backer Groupe Renault and will initially be available at 26 TGV stations in France by tapping into its network of 150 taxi and VTC fleets in France. It expects journey numbers to grow to a few thousand per day in 2019 as a result of the partnership.

“The Mon Chauffeur service marks a milestone moment for Karhoo and the mobility sector,” says Boris Pilichowski, co-CEO of Karhoo. “Enabling door-to-door transport for SNCF customers takes us a step closer to a truly integrated network while improving the passenger experience tenfold.”

Karhoo was launched in 2016 but initially failed in its first attempt to establish an on-demand offering that aggregated drivers and ride options from hundreds of existing fleets of car services. However, it was rescued from the ashes in 2017 with financial backing from RCI Bank and Services, the financial services division of the car giant Renault. This was part of a growing trend for automotive companies buying into the growing world of on-demand transportation start-ups, likely to safeguard their own businesses unaware how the future of automotive ownership would develop.

Its administration report put the blame for Karhoo’s initial collapse at the slow progress to develop and launch its app, but this is now working well and having a strong backer means it is now starting to deliver on its potential.

“There is a need in ground transportation for someone to aggregate all the independents and allow them to compete and we are determined to make sure Karhoo fills that need,” Karhoo’s co-CEOs Boris Pilichowski and Nicolas Andine said in a statement when the business relaunched under the control of the newly formed Flit Technologies.