Since July there have been more than 10.000 new transport offers in Berlin city centre. It doesn’t matter where you are, a sharing car, scooter, bike or kickscooter is just a few steps away. But due to the lack of useful integration, the qualitative gain is much smaller than the quantitative offer. A good example to explain this in more detail is our experience in Berlin last week.
The challange was quite simple: We wanted to go to the TOA area in Nalepastraße (Oberschöneweide) from the B&B Hotel in Potsdamer Straße (Tiergarten) until 9 am. WeShare would have been cool: only 0,19 € per minute for an E-Golf (we had our luggage with us), but unfortunately the destination was already outside the operation area. The same issue for NOW, Sixt One, Coup, JUMP, Lime and all Kick-Scooters. So again only the S-Bahn remained. It’s relatively cheap (2,80 €), but for the 13 km it takes at least 1 hour, including 2-3 changes.
Takeaway #1: Car-sharing would be very attractive (no change with luggage, 30 min. and 6-7 € for 2 people), but it’s only available in the center, where it’s not attractive due to traffic jams and parking problems.
So public transport was the order of the day and we wanted to test the BVG’s new Jelbi app right away. It’s very practical because you can book and pay in one app. The tour suggestion was rather adventurous. From the train station Baumschulenweg there was a supposed bridge over the Spree, in fact it was a ferry (which drove at that time luckily). 10 minutes later we were guided with our rolling suitcases over sandy paths in a small garden settlement. The app did not show the much shorter and better connection from the tram stop “Blockdammweg”. This wouldn’t have happened with the DB-Navigator (incl. ticket purchase), Google Maps and several other route planners.
Takeaway #2: The massively hyped Jelbi-App is still quite buggy, moreover there are no well-known providers included in it apart from ÖPNV, Emmy and Nextbike (no Car sharing, Kickscooter).
But it became interesting the following days: Coup, Jump, Lime, Circ and Tier got wind of the TOA and extended their drop off zone for the duration of the event, so that masses of bikes and scooters were available for outward and return trips.
Takeaway #3: The newcomers from the startup scene react extremely fast and flexible to every demand.
Friday we had several tours between Ostbahnhof and Berlin Mitte on the agenda and got our money’s worth: The rides with Coup, Jump and Lime worked great and were a lot of fun. Because it’s fast, inexpensive, electric and stress-free when parking, micromobility is a favourite in the city centre (if the weather is good).
Takeaway #4: The new mobility providers are an enrichment for every city.
The operational areas have to be enlarged quickly, car sharing requires reserved parking zones at railway stations (for Park&Ride). Shuttle services like Uber, Clevershuttle, Berlkönig have to be expanded, especially for short distances of 3-5km and Taxis have to be significantly cheaper.
Multimodal routing has to be improved (through OpenTransport Data) and MaaS solutions (incl. payment) are urgently needed (Payment APIs). Furthermore these solutions have to become suitable for business users (correct invoices, user management).
Source (Photo): JUMP/Uber