Daimler’s ViaVan JV to pilot ridesharing in Berlin
Berlin’s public transportation authority, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), has teamed up with the ViaVan joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Vans and US technology start-up Via to introduce on-demand ridesharing to Berlin.
The pilot project will start in the spring and will offer an app-based on-demand ridesharing service covering an initial fleet of 50 Mercedes-Benz Vito and V-Class vans in the eastern part of inner-city Berlin, covering the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg districts. The plan is to expand the project to 300 vehicles, with the all-electric eVito Tourer to go into action next summer, as well as possibly expand the areas covered.
The firms said the project in Berlin – which will initially run for two years – represents the first time that close integration of ridesharing and local public transport has been offered on such a wide scale.
Fares will be based on a basic rate plus a distance-based supplement, pricing the service somewhere between the classic rate for local public transport and a taxi fare, and with discounts for multiple passengers.
Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler AG, said: “Berlin’s challenging traffic provides us with the perfect setting in which to test this new form of mobility. We are confident that this new joint service will quickly become established, and that it represents the perfect complement to existing local public transport in the capital. Shared mobility in our vans makes a major contribution to reducing city traffic, while at the same time giving people access to a sustainable form of mobility.”
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