BVG, the private firm that manages most of the public transportation systems in Germany’s largest city, has come up with a new way to cut both traffic jams and smog: an app called Jelbi that gives the 3.7 million Berliners access to the city’s buses, subways, trolleys, as well as shared bikes, cars, and even scooters.
The app lets users book and pay for any mode of transport BVG offers, which now includes 60,000 vehicles.
The company has set up 80 transport hubs next to the most heavily-used bus and subway stations so residents can walk off a train and hop on an electric moped, for example.
The hubs also have electric vehicle chargers.
BVG is now establishing 150 small “parking lots” near public transport hotspots for privately-owned bikes and scooters so they don’t litter sidewalks and storefronts when riders aren’t on them.
Since opening in 2019, Jelbi has been downloaded 500,000 times and has about 220,000 active users.
BVG is continuing discussions with Uber and other ride-hailing services to join the system as well as with businesses: the company is encouraging employers to give workers a “Jelbi allowance” to further cut traffic.
TRENDPOST: As cities grow, the privacy and sanctity of the personal automobile is losing its charm. Time is lost every workday sitting in traffic jams, parking spaces are scarce and, when you find one, increasingly expensive.
Cities are seeking ways to discourage personal vehicles in urban centers. Jelbi’s growing success will encourage other municipalities to adopt something similar.