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ViaVan and SWN Verkehr launch new on-demand mobility service in Neumünster

"Hin&Wech" will encourage sustainable, shared public transport use

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31st July 2020 (Neumünster) — SWN Verkehr and ViaVan, Europe’s leader in public mobility, are setting the course for the future of public transport in Neumünster. The partners will introduce a new on-demand mobility service to complement existing transportation options in the city on August 2nd, 2020. As an attractive, demand-oriented ridesharing offer, SWN Verkehr wants to encourage more Neumünster residents to switch to local public transport and thereby contribute to climate protection efforts in the city of Neumünster.

Hin&Wech shuttles can be booked and paid through a mobile app, which is powered by technology from ViaVan. The service is free from fixed routes and schedules, as ViaVan’s advanced algorithms route vehicles in real time, seamlessly matching multiple passengers headed in a similar direction into a single vehicle. Once a ride is booked, passengers will be directed to a nearby “virtual bus stop”, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours. 

Dense network of virtual bus stops 

“We don’t pick up riders at their front door, but always very close to the respective location. The virtual stops complement the physical ones, which significantly reduces the distance between the stops,” explains Sonja Kessal, Head of SWN Verkehr. “This modern, on-demand service, makes local public transport more comfortable, and thus makes it a real alternative to private cars. This is part of our climate protection commitment in public transport”.

“Technology has the power to transform mobility, and Hin&Wech represents an opportunity to introduce a dynamic public transport solution that will reshape access to affordable, efficient, and sustainable transportation in Neumünster,” said Chris Snyder, ViaVan CEO. “In order to create meaningful, long-term impact in our cities, digital solutions, coupled with partnerships between innovative public and private sector entities are critical, and we are proud to play a role in shaping this future.” 

ViaVan is the technology developer behind the new Hin&Wech service, as well as services in eight locations across Germany, including Berlin, Lübeck, Oberhausen, and Mainz. 

Service aimed at off-peak travel hours

Neumünster is the latest municipality to introduce this type of innovative mobility offer. The on-demand service will provide an excellent alternative for people traveling home from long shift hours, heading home after a night out or heading to or from an event. 

“The regular off-peak buses late at night and early in the morning will be replaced by the on-demand service, and the operating times of the transit network will also be extended. The offer will initially launch in the urban area of ​​Neumünster. If there is more demand, an expansion to the entire service area is also conceivable,” explains Sonja Kessal. 

Riders that have a valid public transport ticket only need to pay a small comfort surcharge. Otherwise the existing Schleswig-Holstein tariff prices apply. 

The service will initially operate during nighttime and evening hours where public transport is traditionally less available:

  • Monday to Thursday: 10:30 pm to 1:00 am
  • Friday: 10:30 pm to 2:00 am
  • Saturday: 4:00 am to 6:00 am and 10:30 pm to 2:00 am
  • Sunday: 4:00 am to 7:00 am and 8:00 pm to 1:00 am

Start of a mobility revolution 

SWN is adjusting both the regional transportation plan and adding the ridesharing offer. 

“With this, the Neumünster policy laid an important cornerstone for the redesign of local public transport and climate protection,” informs Sonja Kessal. “Increased service quality, reduced operating costs, and reduced private vehicle usage are advantages that on-demand, pooled transport can bring together, while at the same time reducing CO2,” explains Sonja Kessal.

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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 100 launched and pending deployments in 20 countries, Via and ViaVan have provided more than 80 million rides to date. For more information, visit www.viavan.com.

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