BVG transport service interruptions and Schienenersatzverkehr are an inconvenience we've all experienced. A couple hundred people getting off the S-bahn and cramming like sardines into a bus. A couple of buses depart, leaving the rest of us waiting for the next buses to come. At the same time, some cyclists using Nextbike are happily cycling ahead of the buses...

What it does

Our solution is an extension to the BVG Fahrinfo app. With well over 3 million downloads, there is substantial potential through the digital arena to further implement BVG's vision to be an awesome customer-centric company.

Fahrinfo knowing ahead of time about a commuter's planned route (or detecting the commuter is taking a typical route), the app intelligently notifies the commuter of an upcoming of any transport service interruption, especially in case of SEV. The commuter can use the regular bus replacement, but is also given the choice of a number of alternatives opportunities - bikesharing, scootersharing, carsharing and taxi.

Nextbike is pushing the bikesharing industry towards sharing of their bike position and availability data. Through "deep linking" integration with BVG Fahrinfo app, the app can easily determine how many free Nextbikes there are at the interruption station for users of Tram, S-Bahn, U-Bahn. As well as LIDL-Bike, Mobike, Coup, Emmy, Car2Go, MyTaxi and any other provider. The commuter can pick her or his preferred transport method, open up the provider's app, and directly make a booking.

How I built it

With an awesome team from the ReDI School of Digital Integration. Through multiple interviews with BVG, HaCon, Nextbike, we quickly iterated through our ideas and validated our assumptions. Using XCode, we quickly built a prototype iPhone application mimicing the change to the BVG Fahrinfo app.

Challenges I ran into

Knowing how to stop and go to sleep :-)

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The excellent teamwork, stamina and humour that we kept up.

What I learned

How much fun Hackathons are! Beyond that, this was a great exercise in teamwork, design thinking, iOS development, and prototyping. Most importantly, we learnt a lot about the daily life of commuters, and how BVG operates behind the scenes.

What's next for ReDI Flyers

  • Further user research to identify how to shape this feature to deliver the very best user experience
  • Engage BVG, HaCon and Nextbike to start work on a first integration
  • Carsharing providers already being available in the Fahrinfo app, offer them as options
  • Intelligently display the availability and proximity of each alternative transport method at the interruption station
  • Inform about how much time each alternative transport method will require
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