20 Dec 2017

Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans Partner with Berlin’s Public Transport Authority to Launch World’s Largest Public Rideshare Service

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ViaVan, the joint venture between Via, the world’s experts in on-demand shared transit, and Mercedes-Benz Vans, the leading manufacturer of iconic passenger and cargo vans, has announced a new partnership with Berlin’s public transit authority, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). Together, ViaVan and BVG will launch the largest public sector deployment of on-demand shuttle service anywhere in the world, with a fleet of up to 300 vehicles.

The new BVG-ViaVan service will utilize Via’s sophisticated algorithm to dynamically route state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz vehicles, allowing passengers to seamlessly book a shared van through a custom BVG app. ViaVan is working closely with regulators and the public transportation experts at BVG to design, develop, and operate the service. The service will launch in Berlin in spring of 2018, pending final regulatory approval.

“ViaVan was formed by Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans to reengineer urban transit in Europe. In partnership with the BVG, today we are introducing a revolutionary new way to get around Berlin using Via’s leading shared ride technology and the exceptional Mercedes-Benz sharing-optimized vans,” says Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan.

The collaboration with BVG will utilize a variety of Mercedes-Benz vans specially optimized for shared rides including the new, all-electric eVito Tourer, which be the first emission-free minibus operating anywhere in the world.

“Via’s technology is redefining mobility across the globe. We are thrilled to be partnering with BVG on this bold new project to introduce the Via model of dynamically routed on-demand shared rides to Berlin on a mass scale. The new service is a perfect complement to traditional public transit solutions, offering a whole new way of getting around the city,” says Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via.

“Our powerful passenger matching and vehicle routing algorithm enables our technology to seamlessly integrate into the existing public transit infrastructure. ViaVan will work closely with cities and public transit operators throughout Europe to power dynamic mobility,” says Oren Shoval, co-founder and CTO of Via.

“We are delighted to have found ideal partners for the launch of ViaVan in Germany in the form of Berlin and the BVG”. Berlin’s challenging traffic provides us with the perfect setting in which to test this new form of mobility. We are confident that this new joint service will quickly become established, and that it represents the perfect complement to existing local public transport in the capital. Shared mobility in our vans makes a major contribution to reducing city traffic, while at the same time giving people access to a sustainable form of mobility,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler AG