An on-demand ride-sharing service has transformed into a public transit service to shuttle essential healthcare workers during the Covid-19 crisis.
Partnering with Via Van, the Berliner Verkerhsbetriebe (BVG) in Germany will suspend regular BerlKönig operations as of today (25 March) and instead provide free exclusive access to medical and nursing staff during night time hours.
The service will run to at least 19 April and authorised healthcare workers will be required to provide documentation to register for the service.
“Getting critical staff to work reliably and safely has never been more important,” said Chris Snyder, CEO of Via Van. “Digitally-enabled transport services like the BerlKönig can play a key role in allowing public transport to adapt to demand amid rapidly changing situations.”
Faced with the current crisis, cities and public transit authorities across the world are actively seeking flexible mobility solutions to help critical employees get to work safely. The partnership between ViaVan and BVG demonstrates how technology-enabled solutions can help maintain vital services by utilizing existing infrastructure to provide safe, reliable, and efficient mobility services for essential workers, while complementing existing public transit systems.
Dr. Rolf Erfurt, chief operating officer of BVG, said, “With our large buses and trains we offer all Berliners who still need to be mobile in this difficult situation, a reliable and stable offer.
“Healthcare workers, doctors and nurses are also currently delivering top performance. For that we say thank you with our BerlKönig special trips.”