Mobimeo develops a Mobility-as-a-Service platform (MaaS) for the mobility of tomorrow. As a partner of transport companies, transport associations and other mobility providers, Mobimeo connects existing public transport systems, sharing and on-demand options.
For mobility providers, Mobimeo offers high-performance technical products: apps built on Mobimeo’s platform impress with their elegant design, their intuitive route search, booking and payment functions and continuous journey progress information. They offer users multimodal, personalised and event-driven suggestions to find the best possible route to their destination.
MOVE caught with John David von Oertzen, CEO of Mobimeo. Within this interview John touches on how Mobimeo has helped make cities greener and talks about what has facilitated the shift towards public transport from public car ownership.
Q: Tell us about Mobimeo. How was the company founded?
Mobimeo was founded in 2018 by Deutsche Bahn. In 2020 we acquired parts of Moovel Group and became one of Europe’s biggest Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform providers. The main idea behind Mobimeo is to create an attractive digital customer interface for everyday mobility from within the industry. With public transport at its core, it is open for all modes of transport. We develop our digital product based on a user-centric approach, putting the customer’s needs first.
Q: Since Mobimeo started it has had the vision of making cities greener by getting people to switch from private cars to public transport and shared mobility. Are you seeing more users make this shift?
My answer is certainly yes. Having in place such game-changing experiences as the 9-Euro- Ticket – a pilot for three months to use public transport all over Germany for a flat-rate last summer – definitely opens people’s minds towards other mobility options than the private car. The Deutschland-Ticket will be its permanent successor with the same scope of services at 49 euros a month. It will be implemented from the 1st of May onwards. It will lower the barrier to try out public transport and many people will probably decide to use it on a regular basis, as soon as they realize that they can survive without their private cars.
This can lead to the necessary shift towards climate-neutral mobility. Yes, we have achieved a lot on our way to sustainable mobility and decarbonization in terms of putting new modes of transport on the roads and to some extent on the rails. But looking at Germany’s and Europe’s climate goals, we can see that we have to bring more people into the system to leverage the positive effects for the environment.
Q: What would you say is the biggest factor facilitating this shift?
In my opinion, the monetary aspect is one of the most important factors here. With flat-rate subscriptions such as the 9-Euro-Ticket or the Deutschland-Ticket, people get not only simpler but also much cheaper access to the public transport system. It certainly lowers the barriers to try it out and possibly start using it more. As ridership increases, however,people begin to understand that the quality of the whole system is not yet where it should be. In metropolitan areas it might be just good enough to meet the mobility needs of the city dwellers, but when it comes to the rural areas there is still a considerable lack of options.
To respond to this, we have to come up with even more innovative offerings that are adapted to this initial situation. Digitalization has opened up new ways of getting from A to B that we had not imagined 20 years ago. Car sharing in cities only became a success with the rise of smartphones and mobile apps. If you think about the potential of on-demand shuttles – especially autonomous ones – for suburban and rural areas, you can imagine that the next transport revolution is just around the corner. To fill in the quality gap, we have to come up with solutions for easy access, short waiting timesand an enjoyable ride experience.
Q: The company has recently released the newest update of its DB Streckenagent (route agent) app. What will users see in the new update and how will it improve the service?
The DB Streckenagent app is a nationwide offering based on our platform addressing the needs of everyday mobility in cities and urban areas. With its latest version, released in March 2023, Mobimeo is integrating sharing vehicles into the digital offering of DB Regio for the first time at large scale. Now, users can find bicycles from Call-a-bike, e-scooters from TIER Mobility and Voi Technology as well as cars from SHARE NOW in the app. By linking these to public transport, DB Streckenagent provides a wide range of choices for people’s everyday mobility.
Q: What can we expect to see from Mobimeo in the next 12-18 months?
From the outset, we have developed our scalable technology and user interface (UI) to integrate an abundance of data and a large variety of mobility offerings into our platform. Now we will be working in close collaboration with our customers to decide which features we will bring to the users and in which sequence. Next on our roadmap we have the following features and improvements to be introduced into the DB Streckenagent app:
- Deep integration – it allows users to have a seamless mobility experience: they can search, book and pay for all integrated modes of transport directly within the app that is based on our platform. This eliminates the need to install a dedicated app for each mode of transport. User and payment data only need to be entered once.
- One mobility budget for all available modes of transport
- A navigation system for everyday mobility called Companion
- Digital access to rail replacement services
Q: What are you looking forward to at MOVE 2023?
Given the international nature of the event, I am very keen to learn from other countries about how they implement MaaS, what current trends, developments and achievements are out there. One of the main goals for me would be to gather valuable knowledge about various MaaS ecosystems and find out what we can implement in Germany.
Q: What can we expect to hear from you there?
I am taking part as a speaker on the panel “How transport providers are partnering on MaaS programs”, together with representatives of valued industry players Miles Mobility, Dott and G4S. I am sure this is a great opportunity to present a German take on the MaaS concept, as well as shed light on what the represented companies experience on an international level. The audience will find out about the importance of integrating public transport and various mobility service providers in one ecosystem, as well as how partnering up with relevant technology providers can further the goal of moving public transport forward.