CUSTOMER

Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH

REGION

Munich,
Bavaria

PROJECT

IsarTiger
Active since January 2018 (test phase)

Press kit

MVG is meeting the challenges of urbanization with its own on-demand bus service

Summary

As a growing and prospering metropolis, Munich faces a number of challenges in the field of mobility. To counteract overcrowded metros, massive traffic jams and a lack of parking spaces, Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG) decided to offer a new and innovative service. With on-demand buses, the traditional local public transport system becomes more demand-oriented and thus adapted to the mobility needs of the city and its citizens.

Becoming aware of the need for action

As a result of urbanization, Munich feels the burden of a growing urban population: Higher traffic volumes, congested roads in the city, overloaded transport infrastructures and increased air pollution have a massive impact on the quality of life of its citizens. The high concentration of social and economic activities in the city centre leads to a growing demand for mobility. Munich continues to be characterized by a high level of car use, with around 70% of urban households owning at least one car. At the same time, Munich’s motorists spend 140 hours a year in traffic jams and cars are parked on average 23 hours a day. The increasing demand for parking spaces also restricts the living space of citizens. As a result, more and more people are using public transport, with around 596 million people using it every year. The pressure on transport companies to make their services flexible, modern and digital and thus offer an alternative to private cars is growing enormously. In view of these challenges, MVG began to rethink its mobility concept in order to meet the growing demands of the metropolis.

In July 2018, Munich’s public transport operator introduced the MVG IsarTiger, an on-demand bus service implemented with the help of software solutions and consulting services from door2door. The MVG IsarTiger is being offered as a supplement to existing public transport services and has neither fixed routes nor timetables. Instead, it can be flexibly accessed via the app. The intelligent algorithm developed by door2door ensures that the MVG IsarTiger pools several passengers together and always takes the fastest and most efficient routes. The flexible on-demand bus service takes passengers from MVG stops to individual destinations – if desired, even to the front door. In a test phase, the shuttles will be on the road three evenings a week throughout a 120 square kilometre area with a demand of up to 8,000 requests per weekend. With the on-demand offer, MVG is expanding its service in order to meet new mobility challenges over the long term.

IsarTiger Shuttle

During the test phase, there have already up to 8,000 requests per weekend.

When it comes to on-demand solutions, the passenger directs the show. This means mobility can be personally tailored, instead of orienting oneself on fixed routes and timetables.

INGO WORTMANN

CEO of Munich Transport (MVG)

Finding the right partner

For the MVG IsarTiger, Munich Transport was looking for a partner with whom it could implement a flexible and modern mobility service without having to sacrifice its own sovereignty. In this context an exchange of ideas took place between door2door founder and Co-CEO Dr. Tom Kirschbaum and Andreas Steinbeisser, Marketing Director at MVG. In initial discussions, the goals of both companies and the need for a partnership solution to overcome the various mobility challenges in Munich quickly became clear. The decisive factor was not only technological competence, but also the partnership approach of door2door: The company supports local transport providers in independently operating and integrating on-demand buses into their transport network without cannibalizing existing services.

door2door is excited to work with MVG to promote on-demand mobility in Munich. Munich’s residents now have intelligent and efficient commuting options at their disposal and the city can expand its leading position as a progressive mobility metropolis.

DR. TOM KIRSCHBAUM

Founder and Co-CEO of door2door

Working on a common vision

MVG sees existing challenges as opportunities and hopes to improve urban mobility in Munich with its new offer. Traffic jams and air pollution are to be reduced by making public transport more accessible and efficient. The company benefits from the promising combination of its own longstanding experience as a mobility provider with door2door’s technological expertise and data-based approach. Together, the two companies can offer a cost-effective, innovative and sustainable alternative to the private car by digitalizing and integrating the on-demand bus service.

The MVG IsarTiger rounds off transport routes in the city from A to B. It closes gaps in traditional public transport and is an important step by MVG on its way to becoming an integrated mobility service provider for the city of Munich.

INGO WORTMANN

CEO of Munich Transport (MVG)

Working together for rapid implementation

With the conviction to start a new on-demand bus service in Munich came the desire for a speedy implementation of the project. In the first phase in summer 2017, door2door’s Mobility Consulting team started with the visualization and simulation of different scenarios for an on-demand bus service. With the help of a mobility analysis, the city’s local structures and the existing mobility situation were examined. A data-based comparison of supply and demand, together with the expertise of MVG, enabled us to analyze and identify an efficient operating scenario, including the operating area and target group for the new on-demand bus service. For this purpose, door2door used its in-house software “Insights”, which merges mobility data for a comprehensive overview.

The MVG IsarTiger started a test run in July 2018 with 15 vehicles in downtown Munich. In the first test phase, the MVG addressed young adults with an affinity for technology who need a flexible, convenient and secure on-demand service, especially at night.

August 2016
Cooperation starts
|
July 2018
MVG IsarTiger test phase starts
|
June 2019
Quadrupling of the operating area from 33 km2 to 120 km2
|
July 2019
Integration into Digital Munich via m-login
|
December 2019
Launch of MVG ParkstadtTiger Schwabing
|
2020
Planned public launch of MVG IsarTiger

Specifications

  • X:N service design: Passengers start at an MVG stop (bus, tram, metro) and are taken from there to their chosen destination
  • Users during the test phase: Holders of an IsarCard (MVG subscription)
  • Better access to public transport
  • Improved mobility in the evening and at night
  • Simple readability of the app, even for people with impaired vision, and wheelchair-accessible travel from the public launch in 2020
MVG IsarTiger app splash screen

Splash screen of the MVG IsarTiger app

MVG IsarTiger app result

Booking screen of the MVG IsarTiger app

MVG Shuttle

The IsarTiger pilot project started with 15 vehicles.

Positive feedback

Passenger reactions during the test phase have been consistently positive: 88% of all trips received 5-star ratings in the app. The demand for on-demand buses is high, and users would like an even larger operating area. A survey by MVG also shows how well the new on-demand bus offer is perceived by end users:

  1. 89% would recommend the MVG IsarTiger to others and 88% would continue to use the on-demand bus service after the public launch.
  2. 88% of passengers are also satisfied with the length of the rides.
  3. 87% evaluated shared rides as being positive, even if they had to accept short detours. The reasons given for this support were the desire to protect the environment, save money and meet new people.

The MVG IsarTiger improves public transport services in the evening and at night: The study results confirm high demand at these times, with one-third of passengers using the service to go to a bar, club or return home from work in the evening.

Concrete growth plans for Munich

The IsarTiger pilot project with 15 vehicles represents an important step and milestone on the way to a car-free city. After the successful test phase has been completed, the public launch of the MVG IsarTiger is being planned for 2020. From then on, the MVG IsarTiger will be available to everyone in Munich.

In addition, MVG is intensifying its successful cooperation with door2door with the ParkstadtTiger. The offer will further connect Parkstadt Schwabingen with 12,000 workstations and over 6,000 residents, thus enabling digital on-demand mobility for commuters. The city of Munich will co-finance the operating costs, thereby making an important contribution to further improving Munich’s mobility services.

There are also plans to expand the operating area and integrate taxis. The door2door mobility platform enables MVG to continually adapt its offer to demand and to gradually expand both its operating area and vehicle fleet. Furthermore, the MVG IsarTiger will be made even more accessible so that people with limited mobility can also use the service.

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