A new app went live on Tuesday, offering travelers a one-stop choice of options ranging from U-Bahn to scooters, making the city of 3.6 million one of the first to offer such unified mobility as a service ‘.
The app, called Jelbi, is run by the BVG transport authority and develops technology from Traffic, a Lithuanian startup that built a similar mobility platform in Vilnius, and partnered with Prague and Jakarta.
Germany’s fast-growing capital, Berlin, is turning to technology to promote the use of virtually every form of urban transport – except for private cars – as it races to stop the city from catching up with rising traffic jams.
Jelbi leader Michel Heider said in an interview that “Jelbi is a solution for people to switch to common forms of mobility – and avoid a transport collapse.”
The app name is a play on the German word for ‘yellow’ – BVG’s living.
Heider said the involvement has been swift: BVG reached an agreement with Traffic in January and a month later drew a strong response when it sought steps from mobility providers to join the project.
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Setting up Jelbi is a bit like opening an account at a smartphone bank: Users have to upload a selfie along with photos of their passport and driving license, and verify a way to pay online.
For Traf, which has so far garnered $ 14m in investor support, Berlin is a milestone. Its mobility app went live in Vilnius two years ago and is now used by a fifth of the people there.
“Monuments are monumental and I think a phase of new deployments will start,” he said, adding that Traffic was in talks with other European cities, and even countries, about launching mobility applications.
There are competitors in the space, including German startup Wunder Mobility, which is building a mobility solution for the city of Hamburg and recently raised $ 60m from investors.
Heider said “People need to leave their cars behind and use Jelbi to get around town.” “We want Jelb to be the No.1 interface for joint movement in Berlin,” he added./Investing.com