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ViaVan and Stadtbus Gütersloh GmbH launch new on-demand public transport service

“Shuttle - Holt dich ab” expands access to affordable, efficient, convenient public transport in Gütersloh

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December 10, 2020 (GÜTERSLOH) Book your ride, board your vehicle, and arrive at your destination– that’s how modern public transport works today. “Shuttle – Holt dich ab”, the new mobility offer from Stadtbus Gütersloh GmbH and ViaVan, Europe’s leader in public mobility solutions, launches on December 9 and will play a key role in the transformation of mobility in Gütersloh. The service is supported by funding from the State Ministry of Transport awarded to the City of Gütersloh to introduce an on-demand mobility offering booked through a mobile app.

Flexible and “on-the-go”
“Shuttle – Holt dich ab” is a flexible addition to local public transport. During the day and on the weekends, the service will provide an important new connection between the districts of Avenwedde, Isselhorst, and Friedrichsdorf for the first time. The service will complement existing Gütersloh bus routes which do not yet provide these connections. During the evening hours, and on Sundays and public holidays, the service will operate across the entire city to fill the gaps when traditional public transport is more limited.

The new offer from Stadtbus Gütersloh GmbH is completely digital, powered by technology from ViaVan. The modern minibuses can be conveniently ordered on-demand through the “Shuttle – Holt dich ab” mobile app, available for iOS and Android. Passengers simply select their pickup and dropoff locations, are assigned to a vehicle, and, if the route is similar, ViaVan’s algorithms will enable multiple passengers to seamlessly share a ride. This reduces detours, and maximizes utilization and environmentally-friendly mobility. Riders will be able to track their journey in real-time in the mobile app.

“With the introduction of a flexible shuttle service, we are rethinking mobility in Gütersloh. The principle of environmentally-friendly carpooling not only offers a positive incentive to share vehicles with other passengers, but is also an important lever for more efficiency in city traffic. But, that only works if we enable the individual to leave his or her car and transition comfortably, quickly, and easily. In this respect, ‘Shuttle – Holt dich ab’ closes an important gap in the offer between our city bus and private transport,” explains Ralf Libuda, Stadtbus Managing Director.

Norbert Morkes, Mayor and Chairman of the supervisory board of Stadtwerke Gütersloh, agrees: “’Shuttle – Holt dich ab’ is a great example of an even more citizen-friendly mobility offer in Gütersloh, and is therefore an enrichment for all of us. This also increases the incentive to say that I am going to leave my car behind today and take a pooled ride. That is good for the climate, and also relieves city traffic.”

“We are proud to work with Stadtbus Gütersloh GmbH to introduce an innovative mobility solution in Gütersloh, and thank the State Ministry of Transport for its recognition of the value that technology can bring to transform mobility in rural communities,” said Chris Snyder, ViaVan CEO. “Flexible, on-demand solutions are an effective and environmentally-friendly way to reduce private vehicle use, while encouraging economic activity with affordable and convenient shared rides.”

ViaVan’s technology powers services with nearly one dozen rural and urban municipalities and public transport authorities in the DACH region, including the “BerlKoenig” in Berlin (BVG), “Isi” in Cologne (KVB), “Anton” in Bielefeld (moBiel), and “LÜMO” in Oberhausen (STOAG).

Model project for innovative public transport
“Shuttle – Holt dich ab” has already celebrated its first success, even before launch. As early as spring 2020, the Ministry of Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia classified the project as eligible for funding as part of the state competition “Mobil.NRW- Model Project Innovative Public Transport in Rural Areas”. A total of 3 million euros will flow into the innovation project by the end of 2023. 75 percent of the funds made available are funded by the State, and 25 percent of the funding will come from the City of Gütersloh. Based on the experience gained in the future, the project will be constantly monitored, evaluated, adapted, and further developed.

Hours of operation and payment
In Isselhorst, Avenwedde, and Friedrichsdorf, the daytime service will operate from 7 am- 7 pm, Monday to Friday, and 8 am – 7 pm on Saturday. The evening service will operate citywide from 7 pm – 12:30 am, Monday to Thursday, 7 pm – 2 am Friday to Saturday, and 8 am – 12:30 am on Sunday and public holidays.

Rides cost 3 euros per passenger for those with a WestfalenTarif pass, and 4 euros for those without a transport pass. Payment will be available with PayPal, credit card, or prepaid debit cards directly through the mobile app. The vehicles are wheelchair-accessible and seat up to seven passengers. This ensures an attractive, shared, and congestion-reducing transport solution.

More information is available at www.shuttle-gt.de.

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About ViaVan:
ViaVan is the leading provider of innovative on-demand shared transit services in Europe. ViaVan was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Via, the world’s most sophisticated developer of dynamic shared ride technology, and Mercedes-Benz Vans, the leading manufacturer of iconic passenger and cargo vans. Working closely with cities and public transit operators, ViaVan powers dynamic mobility services that complement existing transportation infrastructure. ViaVan operates direct-to-consumer services and on-demand services in partnership with major public transit authorities, including the BerlKönig with Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). Through their partnership, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via are also collaborating on the development of advanced mobility solutions, from sensor technology, to electric vehicle fleet management, to autonomous driving. With more than 150 launched and pending deployments on six continents, Via and ViaVan have provided more than 80 million rides to date. For more information, visit www.viavan.com.

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