The MOIA ride-share initiative in Hannover switched from their test phase to official commercial operation today. The permit granted by the city allows the company to start with 150 vehicles. By 2020, the MOIA fleet in Hannover will be allowed to grow to 250. By the end of 2020, the VW subsidiary plans to have a 50% electrified fleet, with 100% to follow in 2022.
The basic idea behind the new mobility service is bringing together passengers with nearby destinations. The MOIA acts like a shuttle service and can be ordered via an app to virtual stops. The pricing is set between buses and taxis. For almost a year the testing phase allowed 3,500 Hannover citizens to test out the service. Now the service has entered regular operation. The fleet currently contains 35 vehicles, and will be expanded to the 150 vehicles mentioned above in several steps, starting with 55 in the next few days.
The operational area has grown significantly since the test phase, and includes several new areas. The company also plans to further expand their service area. Area of operations were not the only changes between the test phase and regular operation: The price is now based on the distance, the day of the week and the time, as well as the current availability of the vehicles. Furthermore, the user group is being expanded from the 3,500 testers to include 15,000 more persons who had applied to test the service as well. This means the service will remain somewhat exclusive for the near future, but is planned to become publicly available by the time the fleet expands in late 2018, according to the company.
Parallel to the launch of the operational service, an investigation is being launched to determine the effects of the service on public transport and traffic. The results of this investigation will then determine whether MOIA will be allowed to expand their fleet to 250.
press release (PDF)