Uber became Hamburg’s latest shared mobility provider Wednesday (July 17, 2019) and launched its services via the Uber app. The California-based company is operating a different business model in Hamburg under which rental car companies with drivers and taxi operators are used instead of private car drivers, according to a spokesperson. This comes after a court in Hamburg ruled that Uber’s hitherto business model does not comply with the “Public Transport Act”. Deutsche Bahn’s subsidiary Clever Shuttle and VW’s ridesharing service, MOIA are already up and running in Hamburg.
Rental car with driver instead of private driver
A “professional driver of a licensed rental car company” now takes passengers booking a journey on UberX from A to B. Customers can also book a fully electric taxi (Uber Green). Taxis can also be booked on the app thanks to the Hamburg-based company Free Now (formerly MyTaxi). To raise transparency, Uber fixes the fare, which can be viewed on the app, before the trip. The fare is around 10 to 15 per cent lower than taxi rates.
Growing mix of mobility in Hamburg
“A dense network of public transport offers, ridesharing offers such as Uber, bikesharing as well as taxis are winning over passengers for shared mobility and showing that privately-owned cars are not always the most effective and environment-friendly means of transport,” said Christoph Weigler, head of Uber Germany. The company had earlier attempted to launch in Hamburg with a business model involving private drivers, but which was banned by a court order as that business model would have contradicted the requirements of the Public Transport Act for the taxi industry. Hamburg is now the sixth German city to offer Uber’s services alongside Berlin, Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main and Cologne.
Clever Shuttle and MOIA
In mid April, MOIA, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, launched its fully electric ride sharing service, which bundles journeys of up to six passengers, in Hamburg. The e-buses stop at virtual bus stops near the destination. Clever Shuttle also uses an emission-free electric drive, which has become an integral part of the Hamburg mobility mix since autumn 2017. The service combines trips with similar routes and takes passengers straight to their destination. In 2021, Hamburg is due to host the ITS World Congress. Around 15,000 delegates are expected at the world’s largest event for intelligent transport systems. Hamburg seeks to position itself as a model and laboratory of intelligent transport and logistics solutions.