The new « HeinerLiner » service is one of the first projects to be launched in Darmstadt as part of the RMV « On-Demand FrankfurtRheinMain » programme. After one month of test operation, the HeinerLiner of HEAG mobilo will be rolling along Darmstadt’s streets from the 1st of April 2021. The operation will initially start with 20 vehicles in Darmstadt’s city centre and will be extended to the entire city area and up to 35 vehicles from the 1st of July.
Together with the project partners and Deutsche Bahn subsidiaries CleverShuttle and ioki, the mobility service provider HEAG mobilo is thus significantly advancing the digital expansion of public transport services in Darmstadt. « With the HeinerLiner, we are pioneers in the Rhine-Main region in the area of on-demand shuttles, » explains Michael Dirmeier, Excecutive Director of HEAG mobilo, and adds: « With this project, we are offering our passengers another alternative to their own car in addition to bus and train, and we are also driving transport transformation forward.
The project is initially scheduled for four years and is to be established permanently if successful.
Flexible, local, digital
The HeinerLiner minibuses can be booked flexibly, easily and individually via the on-demand app developed by ioki. This ensures that journeys are only made when there is actually a need. To further increase efficiency, the service also follows a ridepooling approach. This means that passengers with similar routes are bundled together in the sense of a carpool and thus brought from A to B together in a resource-saving manner.
The minibuses serve their own dense network of virtual stops close to home. This means that passengers can usually reach a stop within a short walking distance (approx. 250 to 300 metres) from any point in the service area, to which they are guided by the app. The app also shows the passenger when the vehicle will arrive, whereby the waiting time should not exceed ten minutes.
ioki is responsible for the technical implementation of the new service. The « operating system for digital mobility » is the companys holistic platform solution for the digitalisation of transport, represents a complete mobility ecosystem. To this end, ioki provides three coordinated and perfectly interlocking individual applications for passengers, drivers and operators: The passenger app enables uncomplicated booking of the on-demand service, the vehicle app ensures communication between customer and driver, and the administration tool and the so-called control centre, enables the operator to ideally manage the service – even at short notice and in real time.
« Especially in the area of mobility, digitalisation holds exciting potentials that we want to make accessible with our approach. In doing so, it is a particular concern of ours to proceed as efficiently and demand-oriented as possible. We build on existing systems and integrate digital solutions that strengthen public transport, » explains Dr Michael Barillère-Scholz, Managing Director of ioki.
CleverShuttle is responsible for the smooth, operational implementation of this digital mobility solution: from the operational set-up, driver and fleet management to the scheduling of ongoing operations, CleverShuttle provides everything from a single source.
The service is available from Monday to Thursday as well as on Sundays and public holidays from 4 am to 1 am. On Fridays and Saturdays, the HeinerLiner runs all day. The vehicles can carry up to seven passengers. To ensure the greatest possible safety during the pandemic, only three people can travel on the HeinerLiner at a time. In addition, all the usual hygiene and distance rules apply in the vehicles, and masks are mandatory.
Climate-friendly mobility for the City of Science
For this needs-based and demand-oriented service, eVito Tourer vehicles from Mercedes are used. Like all HEAG mobilo trains and electric buses, the vehicles run on 100 per cent green electricity.
As an innovative and climate-friendly mobility service, the project is also supported by the state of Hesse and the federal government. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is providing around four million euros for the « HeinerLiner » project as part of the « Immediate Clean Air Programme 2017-2020 ».