/ Reading: 4 min.
For the first time in Germany: The digital Rufbus in Wittlich, Rhineland-Palatinate, starts operation and an on-demand mobility service is thus integrated into the existing local public transport system. The new “Wittlich Shuttle” is a useful addition to existing transport infrastructures, especially in rural areas. Rufbus customers are less dependent on timetables and frequencies. This means more comfort and more mobility.
With the start of operations on 24 May 2018, two vehicles will now operate Monday to Friday between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.. For 15 hours a day and with 70 possible stops, the DRT service transports customers on flexible routes that vary depending on the destination. The high number of stops ensures a dense network.
Customers can book the new digital service conveniently via an app. It is also possible to request the bus as usual by telephone via a Rufbus centre. In addition to immediate ordering, the “Wittlich Shuttle” can also be booked on a specific date. Holders of season tickets or single tickets pay one Euro comfort surcharge for the new service.
In Wittlich, the new mobility service is operated by DB Regio Bus. The demand-responsive-transport-platform was developed by ioki, the new business line Deutsche Bahn (DB) for smart mobility mobility.
“Our goal is to reduce the problem of the first and last mile and get customers to their destination faster with the help of intelligent solutions such as the digitally bookable buses. Even in rural areas, people without their own car should be able to move quickly and easily,” says Michael Barillère-Scholz, CEO of ioki.
The new mobility service in Wittlich is a further milestone for Deutsche Bahn in integrating demand responsive transport into public transport. “Demand-driven transport is the future – DB Regio Bus with its many years of nationwide expertise stands for safe and reliable production at a fair price,” said Guido Verhoefen, Head of Marketing and Business Development at DB Regio Bus.
Joachim Rodenkirch, Mayor of the City of Wittlich: “I am delighted that the mobile phone application for the Rufbus will be available to Rufbus users in the future and hope that the extension of travel times will meet user requirements more closely. However, I am sure that we will significantly improve the ioki Rufbus and thus the local public transport services in Wittlich”.
With its brand “ioki”, Deutsche Bahn brings demand responsive transport and autonomous driving to public transport. ioki offers all services from a single source, for example to enable cities or municipal authorities to operate on-demand mobility services in public transport under their own name.
You can see how the Wittlich shuttle works here: