Bonn carpools goFlux app well accepted by Bonn residents
Bonn · goFlux has been available in Bonn since August. SWB season ticet holders can use the car sharing app free of charge. The first months were successful for the companies involved.
In the summer, Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB), together with Lord Mayor Katja Dörner, introduced goFlux, a new car-pool app for Bonn (the GA reported). The app is intended to support commuters on their daily journeys to and from work. For example, if you travel to Bonn every day from Cologne for work, you can register your commute in the app. Other commuters with the same or a similar route can then use the app to ask if you will give them a lift. In return, you receive a flat rate of two euros for the first 13 kilometres, and 0.15 cents per kilometre from the 14th kilometre onwards.
"We have to make use of all options that mean fewer cars on the road in town," Dörner explained when the offer was presented in August. On 20 December, there were already 1320 members of the carpool in Bonn, according to data from goFlux. An average of 17 new rides are added every day.
The company cooperates with SWB. "Together with goFlux, we have successfully launched and implemented Germany's first regional carpooling project," says SWB spokesperson Stefanie Zießnitz.
Journeys are currently free of charge for passengers with an SWB season ticket, with goFlux paying for the first 10,000 trips. "As Bonn's public utility company, together with goFlux we are examining how we can continue to make the mobility service as attractive as possible for season ticket holders in the long term," says Zießnitz.
Moritz Bergmann has been using the goFlux service for three months. He works at Bonn University Hospital, a goFlux cooperation partner. Bergmann commutes every day from Cologne Zollstock to Bonn. He used to get to work by train or car, but now he mostly ever uses the ride-sharing service. "The train connection from Bonn is abysmal and stressful, trains are constantly cancelled, and it takes much longer than by car," he says.
For Bergmann, the app has many advantages; he meets new people, he saves time and money and has less commuting stress. However, he would like to see more users so that he can be more flexible when he commutes. At the moment, he is still often bound to the times of the commuting routine he has set in the app. As soon as he deviates from this, it's hard for him to find an alternative. Then he has to take the train.
The app already suggests a suitable carpool to 91 per cent of users. "As the number of users increases, the probability of finding a suitable carpool increases significantly. In that sense, we still see potential for improvement in the number of registrations," says Zießnitz.
Simone Claß also works at the university hospital. She commutes every day from Rheinbach, which takes about 50 minutes by bus and train. She has a job ticket and can therefore use goFlux for free. "The buses and trains have become so unreliable, and I don't like driving myself," she says. So the offer of the app came in handy. The outward journey always works perfectly for her, it's only on the return journey that she, like Bergmann, has problems when she is late finishing work. She doubts that she would continue to use goFlux if she had to pay. "I wouldn't want to give up my public transport season ticket. I think it's really good that I can use public transport and goFLux at the same time with one subscription," says Claß.
It is notable in Claß' and Bergmann's case that they have switched from bus and train to car. The actual public transport was not attractive enough for either of them. GoFlux has no data on how many users leave their own car to use a ride-sharing service. The startup speaks of 13,000 "avoided kilometres" and 1.7 tonnes of CO2 saved. In this calculation, the startup assumes that there was one fewer car on the road for each ride per passenger. " We want to usefully supplement public transport in places where connections cannot now be guaranteed," says goFlux press spokesperson Lisa Schultheis. The focus is also on creating synergy effects. Every car that remains stationary has an influence on the reduction of traffic jams and emissions, she adds.
GoFlux cooperates with various employers in Bonn, including the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the University Hospital Bonn and Aktion Mensch. Until 31 March, these collaborations remain free of charge for the companies. After that they will be charged an individual licence fee, which depends on the size of the company and the number of employees. The start-up wants to expand cooperations. "There is great interest from four more large hospitals. We expect to launch these cooperations soon," says Schultheiss.
Original text: Anton Dieckhoff
Translation: Jean Lennox