September 23, 2021 (Berlin) — The special transport service for people with disabilities in Berlin is about to undergo a fundamental transformation that will create positive change for its users. Starting October 1, and following a Europe-wide tender, Via, the leader in TransitTech, will take over the transport service for those with special mobility needs in Berlin, a service that can be used by up to 25,000 people.
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 stands for Berlin and Mobility.
The following changes will occur:
- In addition to booking rides by phone and fax, digital bookings will also possible in real time on the BerlMobil website (www.berlmobil.de), 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.
Elke Breitenbach, Senator for Integration, Labor and Social Affairs: " ViaVan GmbH’s new concept for the service provides far-reaching improvements. 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."
Valerie von der Tann, Managing Director ViaVan GmbH: "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. 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 five kilometers beyond. It also provides trips to and from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). Service times are daily from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. 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.
More information can be found at www.berlmobil.de.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Booking hotline: 030 220 27 136 (phone) 030 220 27 146 (fax)
Special ride service:
The state of Berlin currently finances the special ride service for people with disabilities (SFD) with approximately 22.5 million euros for a contract term of three years. If the contract is extended for another two years, another 15.7 million euros are budgeted.
In the years prior to the pandemic, the SFD provided about 150,000 trips per year. Almost 25,000 people with disabilities in Berlin are entitled to order the special transport service, and around 15,700 people currently use the service.
Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to power public mobility systems, optimizing networks of dynamic shuttles, buses, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, and autonomous vehicles around the globe. Building the world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all riders — including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and unbanked populations — Via works with its partners to lower the cost of public transit and provide accessible options that rival the convenience of a personal car at a much reduced environmental impact.
In recent years, Via has also become the leading provider of cutting-edge paratransit technology, and the Via platform is being used for paratransit services nationwide in Luxembourg, in various French cities, such as Aix-en-Provence, and soon in the entire region of Flanders, Belgium. Via’s technology not only improves the user experience for people with disabilities through increased reliability and real-time communication, but also allows operators to run more efficient networks.