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(Frankfurt am Main, 11 March 2019) Is it possible to attract today’s car commuters to public transport by offering them a continuous travel chain? To answer this question, there will be a practical test between Mannheim and Lampertheim from 12 March 2019: for a period of six weeks ioki in cooperation with DB Regio will offer external employee mobility for the first time. A group of 25 commuters from Lampertheim, who work for Roche in Mannheim, will be using an on-demand shuttle service for the first and last mile to supplement the train.
ioki as a feeder for local rail passenger transport
In this pilot project, an on-demand service will be set up and adapted into the existing rail transport system, in order to offer passengers the advantages of both types of mobility. The pilot participants order a shuttle spontaneously or in advance via app between the virtual stop nearest to their home (max. 200 m) and Lampertheim station. After a short train ride on the regional train or Regionalexpress, a shuttle bus awaits the Roche employees at Mannheim-Waldhof station and takes them to the Roche factory gate.
“If we manage to simplify the journey between the front door and the office door for commuters, we can create real added value for our customers. This means ensuring less traffic, a better environmental balance for each individual and sustainable mobility for everybody,” says Frank Klingenhöfer, Head of DB Regio Region Mitte. “With this pilot, we will gain important insights into how individual mobility offers can look like for commuters away from their own cars and how we can improve connecting our trains with other means of transport”.
Innovative employee mobility as a flagship for employers
Employers in the region are faced with the challenge of promoting the mobility of their employees in such a way that less time is wasted in traffic jams, fewer parking spaces are needed, and more is done to protect the environment and make the region more attractive as an employer. Roche in Mannheim, which is one of the largest employers in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region with more than 8,000 employees at its site and which has made innovative employee mobility its mission, also has this in mind.
“Roche employees in Mannheim have very different mobility requirements: we want to offer the young father who brings his child to the nursery in the morning just the same environmentally friendly and attractive solution as the employee without her own car. In a pilot project with DB, we want to test whether we can make public transport even more attractive for our employees by offering on-demand services. If the pilot project is accepted, we will test whether it can be introduced permanently,” says Roche factory manager Martin Haag.
Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region with potential for connected mobility
Christian Specht, First Mayor of the City of Mannheim and Chairman of the Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH, welcomes the initiative: “Many important employers have their headquarters in Mannheim. The number of commuters and the resulting traffic challenges are correspondingly high. In order to meet these challenges, to improve the quality of life in the city, to manage traffic flows more effectively and to improve air quality, the City of Mannheim supports projects aimed at achieving a sustainable turnaround in mobility. Digital technologies and connected services should enable more people to move individually without their own cars and make the switch to public transport more attractive.”
ioki as an expert for the first and last mile
ioki was brought on board as a partner for the realisation of on-demand services. Until now, ioki has operated on-demand services mainly in cooperation with cities and transport companies, but now the DB subsidiary is further expanding its expertise and launching an innovative employee mobility service with Roche.
ioki operates the shuttles and makes the mobile booking platform available as well as an app for drivers and employees, with which test customers can book the flexible and smart transfer from home to the station. With just a few clicks, a shuttle can be ordered by app and transports the employee to the nearest station. The platform developed by ioki records the travel requests and processes them with an intelligent algorithm so that passengers with similar routes are transported together on the fastest route. Ridepooling will allow Roche colleagues to meet on the same route in the shuttle.
As in Wittlich and Hamburg, ioki continues to pursue the vision of strengthening local public transport in such a way as to eliminate the need for a car of one’s own and provide citizens with a consistently comfortable travel chain. “We are happy to be part of this project and to try out this new form of employee mobility together with Roche and DB Regio. At ioki it is particularly important for us to work with partners to get new mobility concepts, such as smart employee transport, on the road,” says Michael Barillère-Scholz, Managing Director of ioki.