When we launched Jelbi in Berlin last year we were faced with a challenge to handle radically different mobility services within a single European city. Now we can say with certainty that it was a huge achievement not only for all of us at Trafi but for the mobility industry as a whole. Nevertheless, the only way for us to top it was to take on an even more complex, multi-city mobility network and make it even better. This week we are presenting you with yumuv – world’s first regional Mobility as a Service with subscriptions. Owned by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FFS), public transport operators (PTOs) in Zurich (VBZ), Basel (BVB), and Bern (BERNMOBIL), and powered by Trafi.
Of all countries embracing public transportation as the backbone of urban mobility, Switzerland stands second to none. From their synchronized scheduling of all forms of public transportation to their unified ticketing system, this mountain nation is an example where even the most affluent people rely on public transportation every single day. Thus, when we took the task of launching yumuv, we didn’t flinch in basing the whole product experience in public transportation. It only makes sense when you have such a firm ground to stand on.
However, using public transportation to move between Zurich, Basel, and Bern is not the same as relying on shared mobility inside the cities. Our lives are too chaotic to expect public transportation to cover all our use cases. Nevertheless, instead of falling back to owning private cars, the younger generation is getting their driver’s licenses later, if at all. According to one study done in Geneva, the home to the world-famous auto show, driver’s licenses issued to people under 25 years went from 75% 18 years ago to 65% in 2017. It shows a trend that younger Swiss citizens want to incorporate shared mobility services into their daily lives. For us, this was a clear confirmation that we had to completely integrate well-known micromobility brands like Tier, Voi, and BOND into a single, holistic multimodal service.
So, the takeaway here: no single provider, operator, or solution could have made all of this happen. Moreover, it would be impossible to have a successful Mobility as a Service without taking the already excellent public transportation backbone and enhancing it with trusted mobility service providers (MSPs). And for a project like yumuv to work at all, you have to have a single joint regional entity to orchestrate Mobility as a Service for and between three Swiss cities.
A multi-city approach
For a country the size of Switzerland, where you usually commute to work, school or university from another city or village, can reach your downtown in mere minutes and have immediate access to the Alps, we chose a different focal point: a completely regional, multi-city experience is more important than integrating complete intracity mobility of just one city.
Micromobility supplements public transportation
We still hear hypotheticals how micromobility should complement public transportation. Meanwhile, yumuv is pushing the envelope from day one and connects these modes seamlessly: there can be no first and last-mile solutions, if electric bikes and kick scooters are not readily available in the same place you plan your public transportation trips, and vice versa.
Most Swiss citizens have public transportation passes, and this suggested that extending them with mobility subscriptions for micromobility was the natural way to go. With yumuv, people can pay a flat rate for rides with electric bikes and kick scooters. This mechanism ensures that they can have a cheaper and smoother exploration of new mobility options.
Taking data privacy seriously
With yumuv, we also follow our own principle of personal data privacy being a human right. There is no better way to deliver on this deeply held conviction than to create a product that is fully functional even if travelers don’t want to share their location data either with our platform, or our partners. Certain features become less helpful but people can still effortlessly look for options that make the most sense for their situation.
Customizable off-the-shelf solution
Finally, for us at Trafi it’s very special that yumuv is sharing the same robust technology we use to power Jelbi and our other MaaS cities. Of course, we had to adjust and customize for Swiss regional specifics. However, our core functionality remains intact and is shared across other Mobility as a Service solutions, allowing for easier rollouts of upcoming features.
In other words, with yumuv, Mobility as a Service is entering its Act II. The launch of a completely integrated holistic multimodal service for a single city was exciting, but it was only the setup. Now, focusing on a multi-city regional approach and creating a single payment option like subscriptions opens new, yet to-be-explored avenues.
Founded in 2013, Trafi is a Lithuanian tech start-up. Trafi is working shoulder-to-shoulder with cities, countries, and companies worldwide to create the best in class Mobility-as-a-Service alternative for congested cities. Trafi offers cities the possibility to connect all mobility services into one single platform where users can check itineraries and also book their tickets and trips.
Trafi’s mission is to empower cities’ urban transportation with technology and know-how and encourage citizens to use more sustainable modes of transportation by accessing all services into one single platform. Trafi is currently live in 4 continents around the world and 7 cities.