Via takes over Berlin special needs transport

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GERMANY

Following a Europe-wide tender, transit tech specialist ViaVan will take over the transport services for people with special mobility needs in Berlin from 1 October. Via says it plans to modernise the existing service with its intelligent technology platform, increase the quality of service, and engage in an ongoing dialogue with users to ensure an enhanced user experience. The service will also be given a new name, BerlMobil, selected from suggestions submitted by users of the existing service.

As well as booking trips by phone and fax, digital bookings will also be possible in real time on the new BerlMobil website and a mobile app, allowing users to track their vehicle on a city map in real-time, and receive an estimated time of arrival. The fleet is also being updated with new vehicles.

Elke Breitenbach, Senator for Integration, Labor and Social Affairs, said: “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 of ViaVan GmbH, added: “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.”

The service operates across Berlin and up to five kilometers beyond between 0500 and 0100hrs, with passengers paying a low fare per journey.