Half full through the night

From this Tuesday on, Mainz is testing a new on-demand service in local transport and is using small electric buses for this. The “Mainz-Rider” is intended as an additional offer.

Stromer: The “Mainz-Rider” starts in a pack of ten, our photo shows seven cars

DThe test field is prepared, and the 1000 additional stops have also been set up. Although these stations cannot be seen with the naked eye on the streets and squares of the city without the associated “Mainz-Rider” app. From this Tuesday on, the Mainzer Mobility transport company is testing a new on-demand service that allows registered customers to use up to ten electric minibuses that are available on demand.

In contrast to a shared taxi, the drivers called with the help of an app that can be installed on the smartphone do not stop right in front of the customer’s front door, but if possible very close to the registered address. However, the offer, which is intended as a supplement to buses and trains, is initially only being made in five selected districts: in Mombach, Gonsenheim, Finthen, Drais and in Hartenberg-Münchfeld; and that only in the evening and at night, i.e. between 6 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Delayed by the corona crisis

The pilot project launched with funding from the Federal Ministry of Transport, which was supposed to start in spring, but was then delayed by the Corona crisis, is not intended as competition to the existing taxis, but as a targeted addition, especially for local transport customers Mobility planners’ view. That is why Bismarckplatz and Bahnhof West, as central transfer points, also belong to the official rider stops.

If you have a day, weekly, monthly or annual ticket, you only have to pay one euro for one-time transport, which is debited via the app using PayPal or credit card. For all other customers, the trip with the electric minibus, which depending on the route stops at around 1,000 virtual stations in the city, costs five euros. Depending on the route individually compiled with the aid of a computer program, several customers can be transported at the same time.

Basically, the e-vehicles offer space for up to six people. According to the Mainzer Verkehrsgesellschaft, a maximum of three passengers will be accommodated in a “rider” during the corona pandemic, which should generally arrive at the agreed stopping point no later than 15 minutes after the order has been received.

The testing of the system, which was set up together with the company Viavan, which specializes in mobility concepts, is likely to continue until next year, announced the managing directors of Stadtwerke Mainz and Mainz Mobility, Daniel Gahr and Jochen Erlhof, last Thursday at the presentation of the Shuttle bus fleet arrives at the customs port. According to her, the total costs should be around 1.6 million euros for the time being. In a next step, the “Mainz-Rider” should then be available during the day in selected parts of the city, such as Finthen, for example.