Via to modernize important mobility service in Berlin

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A special transport service for people with disabilities in Berlin will be transformed to create a better user experience. From October 1, the transport service, which is used by up to 25,000 people, will be taken over by TransitTech expert Via.

Via plans to modernize the existing transport service with its intelligent technology platform, increase quality of service, and engage in an ongoing dialogue with riders to ensure an enhanced user experience. The special transport service will also be given a new name: ‘BerlMobil’. The name was selected from more than 30 suggestions submitted by users of the existing service. BerlMobil is a fusion of Berlin and Mobility.

Improvements to the service include the following:

  • In addition to booking rides by phone and fax, digital bookings will also possible in real time on the BerlMobil website, and will be available in the near future through a mobile app. With the addition of digital booking, passengers will be able to track their vehicle on a city map in real-time, and receive an estimated time of arrival.
  • The fleet is being updated with new vehicles. At least 54 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vehicles are in use, and Taxis will also be used as needed.
  • Improved communications for passenger journeys: For example, passengers who have booked by phone can receive an automatic call on the day of their journey with the estimated arrival time of their vehicle.

“ViaVan’s new concept for the service provides far-reaching improvements,” says Elke Breitenbach, senator for integration, labor and social affairs. “Passengers will now be able to make spontaneous and flexible decisions when booking trips on short notice. The new service will improve participation in the social, civic, and cultural life of our city.”

“We are proud to work with the State of Berlin to innovate and improve the quality of service and passenger experience for BerlMobil users through ViaVan’s technology platform,” adds Valerie von der Tann, Managing Director ViaVan. “The service will become more reliable, and communication with users will be available through a website and mobile app, in addition to the telephone. This will make it possible to offer efficient and convenient rides booked with shorter notice.”

BerlMobil is available across Berlin and up to 5km beyond. It also provides trips to and from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). Service times are daily from 5am to 1am. The State Office of Health and Welfare (LAGeSO) issues a permit to those wishing to use the special transport service. Passengers pay a small contribution for each ride.

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Lauren is acting associate editor for Traffic Technology International and freelance journalist. Over the past 15 years, she has worked on a wide variety of B2B publications and websites, including a stint as deputy editor of Traffic Technology International from 2014-2016. She has a degree in English from the University of Exeter. Lauren is mum two busy little girls. She is always in demand!