Bruno Ginnuth on group taxis: “The higher the amount of journeys, the more efficient the concept”

Category: Future heads

© GHT Mobility GmbH

© GHT Mobility GmbH

Mr Ginnuth, on the occassion of the visit of Ramona Pop, Berlin Senator for Economic Affairs, to Berlin Fashion Week your company agreed to provide two so-called eco shuttles. How were your eco-friendly electric vehicles received at the trade fair?

As in many other industry sectors, in the world of fashion, too, sustainability as a concept is currently en vogue. That is why our eco-friendly transport service is very much in line with the trend. Thanks to its green branding, our fleet of electric vehicles has managed to attract the attention of many Fashion Week visitors.

Beyond the world of fashion, you are currently active in Berlin, Munich and Leipzig and have ambitious plans to grow even further. In which German cities can we expect passengers to be travelling from A to B in CleverShuttles by the end of 2017?

CleverShuttle will be expanding its service in 2017 to include nine other German cities. As of summer 2017, we’ll be taking up operations in Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main, with Stuttgart and Dresden following later in the year.

Prices per kilometre are said to be below those for conventional taxis. This is possible because your algorithm calculates which passengers intending to travel in the same direction could be picked up along the way without taking long detours. A necessary precondition for this of course would be that several people are looking for a lift to different destinations at the same time. In how many cases does your concept of sharing vehicles actually work out?

By efficiently grouping together journeys our utilisation numbers are actually above average: There are less journeys with empty seats and as a result the pressure on both the environment and road traffic is relieved. At the moment, one in three journeys is shared - and counting! The more journeys we make, the more efficient the sharing concept becomes.

You have a competitor in UberPOOL and taxi companies have announced that they will be offering app-based taxi sharing as well. What makes your service stand out from the competition?

There are several factors that make the CleverShuttle concept stand out from similar products. First of all, CleverShuttle currently is the only transport service on the German market that has been granted official authorisation to offer organised taxi sharing. Compared to similar taxi services CleverShuttle scores on eco-friendliness and CO2 reduction thanks to its fleet of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. What’s more, we offer our CleverShuttle drivers permanent contracts and fair hourly wages. Also, all our drivers have received professional training and are licensed for passenger transport.

You are supported by several companies including Deutsche Bahn. How exactly does your partnership with Deutsche Bahn work?

The cooperation between Deutsche Bahn and CleverShuttle offers benefits for both sides: For Deutsche Bahn, CleverShuttle is a strategic investment: CleverShuttle closes the travel chain and offers railway passengers a travel option that is both convenient and eco-friendly. For CleverShuttle, the partnership with Deutsche Bahn is of great importance as it holds the potential to tap into Deutsche Bahn's large customer base. Over the next few years, CleverShuttle is aiming to become available in every city with more than 200,000 inhabitants.

Mr Ginnuth, finally, could you please complete the following sentence: Berlin is... to new things and always up for a laugh – ideal conditions for CleverShuttle to become a success.