The new service has been available since September 15. Especially in the suburbs of Berlin there are still areas that have so far been insufficiently developed with local public transport. In parts of Lichtenberg, Marzahn-Hellersdorf and Treptow-Köpenick, transport poverty must now be alleviated with a new service from the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). Ten call busses now run around the clock in the large catchment area.
"The area is not yet as well connected as we would likesaid State Secretary for Transport Meike Niedbal at the presentation of the dial-a-buses. They should mainly be an offer for the first and last mile, she explains, especially for people who cannot easily walk or cycle to the train station.
Call buses are booked by phone or via the new app “BVG Muva”. The system then checks where the vehicles, which can transport up to seven people, are currently on the road. After a short time, it shows the user the possible options, the predicted waiting time and the costs. The aim is to bundle requests and combine trips along similar routes.
According to the transport administration, the transport contract with the BVG provides for three million euros for the new 'on-demand' bus service, but there is also a personal contribution for users. For rides to the train station, 1,50 euros per booker and 50 cents per additional passenger are due. For direct journeys that do not lead to a stop of public transport, a surcharge of 1,50 per kilometer applies, for other travelers this is reduced to 50 cents per kilometer. Payment is possible via PayPal, credit card, direct debit or voucher card.
The BVG states that the average waiting time for a dial-up bus may be a maximum of ten minutes. In individual cases, however, one could also be above that. The number of waiting buses used is based on previous experience with other projects where BVG has already collaborated with the company Via, which also won the tender for “BVG Muva”. The contract runs until the end of 2025.