Mobility-as-a-Service

    A solution for rural areas

    Ridepooling in combination with automated driving is a fast-growing market. It offers manufacturers the opportunity to tap into new customer groups, even in the long term.

    Ridepooling in combination with automated driving is a fast-growing market. It offers manufacturers the opportunity to tap into new customer groups, even in the long term.

    The optimal combination of public transport and cab

    Ridepooling is a new mobility service that is a kind of combination of local public transport (LPT) and cab. Customers book a ride by specifying their starting point and destination. They are picked up at the starting point, and other customers can hop on and off along the way. An algorithm plans and optimizes routes and automatically forms "carpools" of passengers with similar destinations. There are no fixed timetables or predefined routes.

    Ridepooling thus supplements and expands the range of mobility services available to users. This can close the gap that still exists today between public transportation on the one hand and the private car on the other. Especially in rural areas, pooling services can significantly expand the range of mobility options. Companies in the German automotive industry are on the market with their own ridepooling offerings and have thus further expanded their own product portfolio. In the future, automated driving can enable new application scenarios for pooling vehicles and thus open up additional potential for sustainability in transport.

    Appropriate legal framework needed

    In order to successfully position ridepooling services on the market, the legal framework must be designed accordingly. The amendment of the Passenger Transportation Act was a first step toward enabling new mobility services in Germany on a permanent basis. However, it must now be implemented on the ground in a way that promotes services rather than regulating them away. The law must therefore be carefully evaluated over the next few years. In any case, the entire urban area should be open to pooling services; reducing the services to public transport feeder services alone would fall short and leave potential for traffic optimization untapped. Pooling vehicles should also be allowed to use bus lanes. Access rights to traffic-calmed areas should be examined.

    Equal tax treatment of all pooling offers

    There is a need for further regulation of the tax framework. Ridepooling should be subject to the reduced VAT rate regardless of whether it is offered within the public transport system or on its own account, since ridepooling generally contributes to reducing traffic congestion and emissions by bundling trips and using environmentally friendly types of drive.

    Dr. Michael Niedenthal
    Transport Policy Division

    Dr. Michael Niedenthal

    Head of Division

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