SSB will launch its new service on June 1, 2018, SSB Flex will pool similar journey requests in three areas to provide additional, more flexible journey options in certain high-traffic areas or at specific times in order to supplement the existing transportation services offered.
The SSB Flex mobility service gives customers a flexible, on-demand and tailored way to book journeys using the SSB Flex app. SSB Flex is the first on-demand service in Germany approved by the Stuttgart Regional Council as a regular passenger service under the German Passenger Transportation Act (Personenbeförderungsgesetz – PBefG).
“It’s important for the city to try out new forms of networked and multimodal mobility, also in the interest of the ‘Sustainable mobility in Stuttgart’ action plan. I’m confident that SSB Flex will be a real win for sustainable mobility for the people of Stuttgart,” states Dr. Michael Münter, Head of Strategic Planning and Sustainable Mobility for the City of Stuttgart.
SSB will be deploying a fleet of 10 vehicles. The fleet is made up of 10 Mercedes-Benz V-Class sedans with five seats in the rear and 2 Mercedes-Benz B-Class vehicles with electric drive and three seats in the rear. All of the vehicles are clearly labeled with the yellow and white SSB Flex logo.
SSB vehicle drivers are either specially trained Flex drivers or SSB bus drivers who have received additional training.
Anyone can use SSB Flex: they simply need to download the SSB Flex app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store onto their smartphone. Customers can save their personal information and payment details in the app. Flex trips can be paid via the app with a credit card or PayPal.
The SSB Flex app is based on the moovel on-demand platform’s algorithm, which intelligently pools journey requests to enable ridesharing. To ensure that users can get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, the travel routes are continually calculated and updated taking into account the latest real-time traffic data and information from the public transportation network. Furthermore, the anticipated demand is estimated so that the fleet can be managed proactively.
SSB has received a permit from the Stuttgart Regional Council (Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart) that allows and enables them to operate SSB Flex under passenger transport regulations, which also apply to regular bus services. This permit is the first of its kind for this type of transport. The Stuttgart Regional Council is thus demonstrating its openness to innovative transport models.
The service is made possible by SSB’s close partnership with moovel. moovel’s contribution to the partnership is its moovel on-demand platform, which has been successfully tested as Flex Pilot in Stuttgart since December 2017.
The moovel Group’s Flex Pilot has served as the preparation for the launch of the on-demand service offered by Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG. moovel has been testing the service on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays since December 14, 2017. The pilot phase ends on May 26, 2018. More than 20,000 passengers have used the mobility service for free during the test phase.