The BVG app always calculates the cheapest tariff

by time news

Berlin – Are single tickets enough today? Would a four-trip ticket make sense? Or shouldn’t I buy a 24-hour card right away? Many passengers who do not have an environmental card ask this every day. You have to keep calculating which ticket is the cheapest in your specific case. A new app, which will soon be tested in Berlin, should save them that. Their aim is to always find the best price. That is why the process is also called: Best Price. “A start is planned for this year,” says Jannes Schwentu, spokesman for the Berlin transport company (BVG). The first details have been determined.

The state company wants to attract around a thousand volunteer testers who will go on tour with the mobile phone application in the Berlin urban area. Short distances, long distances, return trips and round trips: everything is possible as long as it takes place in the Berlin AB tariff zone. The test participants should begin each journey with a check-in on the app. When the journey is over, a check-out is due. After a certain period of time, the system takes stock and then makes the invoice. “An algorithm in the background always calculates the cheapest price. In the first stage up to the 24-hour pass, in a second stage up to the monthly pass, ”explained Schwentu.

BVG wants to lower hurdles for occasional customers

With the new procedure, for which the coordination with data protection officers and other parties is still ongoing, the BVG would like to lower hurdles and gain new passengers. “With our pilot test we would like to find out how we can lower the tariff usage barrier for occasional customers as much as possible,” said the BVG. Even without knowledge of tariffs, passengers should always get the right and, at the same time, the cheapest ticket – without a “passenger high school diploma”.

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It cannot be ruled out that the test area will later be extended to the surrounding area. “Together with the VBB transport association and the other transport companies, we would like to check after our initial experience whether an extension of the pilot test to the Berlin ABC tariff area is possible,” said the BVG.

Settle fares by minutes or kilometers

In addition, the findings are to be used if new tariff systems are developed. In recent years, the Berlin-Brandenburg transport association has tested new models – without the ideas being pursued any further. It was investigated whether time-based tariffs would be possible to a greater extent than currently. A single Berlin ticket is currently valid for two hours; a short-haul ticket can be purchased for very short journeys – but there are no ticket offers in between.

The association also considered trying out an electronic tariff with billing that is accurate to the kilometer in Berlin. BVG had a similar idea in 2003. But in this case, too, no specific project followed. The passenger association IGEB rejects both time-based and kilometer-based fares as “highly dangerous” because they would presumably result in higher costs for many Berliners. The current tariff system is simple and understandable, according to the association.

Best Price is already available in Stuttgart, Augsburg and Osnabrück

As far as best price is concerned, however, Berlin is not the first city in which such a system is being tried out. There are also best-price models in other cities, according to research by the Association of German Transport Companies. One example is Stuttgart with the SSB Move app: based on the bookings, the best price is calculated every month. Stadtwerke Augsburg offers the Bibo app. Bibo means: be-in / be-out. Passengers have to check in and out at the push of a button, and the invoice is presented at the end of the month. The YANiQ app from Stadtwerke Osnabrück is billed weekly. There, customers have to pay a maximum of the price of a weekly ticket.

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