September 18, 2023 (HANNOVER, GERMANY) — The on-demand bus "sprinti" is continuing on its successful course: starting in October, the service will begin connecting the residents of twelve municipalities with on-demand public transport. “With the expansion of sprinti from three to twelve municipalities in the Hannover region, the potential user base of sprinti will increase to 360,000 inhabitants and thus serve an area twice the size of Berlin," says Steffen Krach, President of the Hannover Region.
When sprinti started its test phase in Wedemark, Sehnde and Springe in mid-2021, it demonstrated that on-demand transport is a successful way to expand access to public transport and thus general mobility in Germany. With the gradual expansion to nine more cities and municipalities starting on October 1, and with a total of 120 vehicles, sprinti will become the largest on-demand public transport system in Germany. "Sprinti brings a new quality of local transport to rural areas. This is precisely what makes sprinti a showcase project that is unique in Germany," says Ulf-Birger Franz, head of transport at the Hannover Region.
From the beginning of next month, sprinti will also operate in the eastern municipalities of Burgwedel, Burgdorf, Uetze and Lehrte. On December 10, the western communities of Neustadt a. Rbge, Wunstorf, Barsinghausen, Wennigsen and Pattensen will follow. "Before the end of the year, this would mean that the GVH tariff zone C in the Hannover region will be completely covered by the innovative on-demand service and another milestone in the transport revolution in the Hannover region will have been reached," says Elke Maria van Zadel, CEO of ÜSTRA AG. "We are proud to be able to operate this innovative product on behalf of the region and, as ÜSTRA, will also be involved with our own sprinti vehicles and driving personnel from December onwards."
Sprinti established its effectiveness very quickly, achieving a high level of awareness that developed into a success story with figures that speak for themselves: since the pilot project began in June 2021, there have been more than 850,000 trips. Since then, the volume of trips has increased almost fivefold — from around 10,000 trips per month to around 47,000 trips per month. An average of 1,500 passengers use the sprinti per day, and the daily record is 2,400 passengers.
Since the service launch, Via Mobility DE GmbH has served as the transport technology provider of sprinti, and ÜSTRA has served as the operator since August on behalf of Hannover region. Starting in December, ÜSTRA will be using minibuses with 18 seats each, which are intended to support service areas with higher demand, such as at S-Bahn stations.
The sprinti fleet will gradually increase from 30 to 120 vehicles by the end of the year. 25 percent of these are already electric vehicles, a number that will also increase significantly. The fleet is also diverse, with the 6-seater Sprinter, the 5-seater eVito (electric), and the 18-seater minibuses offering three different models based on passenger demand.
"We are proud to deepen our longstanding partnership with Region Hannover and ÜSTRA by expanding sprinti. Sprinti is an on-demand service that is not only incredibly popular, but also remarkably effective in connecting Region municipalities to the Hannover regional rail network," said Chris Snyder, Co-Chief Operating Officer and European CEO of Via. "Expanded sprinti service will reach more passengers than ever before, improve access to key mobility hubs in the Hannover Region, and further reduce reliance on private cars."
The most important information about sprinti at a glance:
- No extra ticket needs to be purchased for sprinti; the vehicles can be used with normally valid GVH tickets — including, for example, the Deutschlandticket or the even cheaper variants of the Jobticket in the region.
- Trips can be booked spontaneously via app or phone.
- Sprinti offers service hours that are normally only common in urban areas, running at least Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 1:00, Friday from 5:30 to 4:00, Saturday from 7:00 to 4:00, and Sunday from 8:00 to 1:00 - often even longer.
- As a rule, there is a waiting time of no more than 20 minutes after the order is placed.
- The virtual sprinti stop is a maximum of 200 meters walking distance for those ordering. All vehicles are barrier-free, have large loading areas and, after registration, allow walkers, wheelchairs, bulky luggage, bicycles or baby carriages to be taken along; child seats are available from the age of 0.
- The booking software is programmed so that trips are only offered if no comparably good scheduled connections are available. Customers are therefore always shown the best connections for them.
Sprinti is part of the public transport model project MoHaWiV (Model Region Hannover: Turning Points in Transport) and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport.
Sprinti will be going on a grand tour starting on September 25: The on-demand service will be presented in detail at a "road show" in the nine newly added cities and communities — sprinti "show and tell", so to speak. After the kick-off in Burgwedel (September 25, 1 p.m.), the roadshow schedule is as follows:
- Lehrte: 27.09.23, 12:30 Uhr
- Burgdorf: 28.9.2023, 16:30 Uhr
- Uetze: 11.10.2023, 11:30 Uhr
- Pattensen: 2.11.2023, 12:15 Uhr
- Barsinghausen: 9.11.2023, 15:30 Uhr
- Neustadt: 16.11.2023, 11:30 Uhr
- Wunstorf: 21.11.2023, 16 Uhr
- Wennigsen: 30.11.2023, 12 Uhr