MOVE Stand der Markteinführung

The market introduction stage of the RidematchingService (FahrgemeinschaftsService ) in the town of Bremen is currently being launched with the support of the Minister for Building, Transport and Municipal Development in Bremen. In an initial step, all the larger employers with over 200 employees are being approached in the central part of the town, i.e. in the closer vicinity of Kraft-Jacobs-Suchard and BECK & CO, with the exception of the retailing trade and the authorities.

The contacting procedure is conducted as a rule personally over the telephone for agreeing on a date for the presentation. In the majority of cases the presentation is given at the companies. From time to time, a fixed date is chosen for a centrally located conference room, to which several companies are then invited. As far as possible, the attempt is made to meet the company management and employees' councils together or in a sequence timed as closely as possible.

The campaign for acquiring the company customers for the RidematchingService (FahrgemeinschaftsService ) is being carried out by the Institute for Transport Ecology (BVÖ).

Parallel to the direct contacts with the company, the new service offer is also being introduced to the administrative offices of Bremen's Administration and the Chambers of the Economy (Wirtschaftskammern). A press campaign is planned for the late summer. The support of the Chamber of Trade is being sought for this.

The negotiations with individual sections of the authorities is difficult, because they have no autonomy over the households in issues concerning personnel policy. In this connection a basic regulation must be found with the "Senatskommission für das Personalwesen" (The Minister's Commission for Personnel Management) which is no easy matter - one fact alone being that the individual sections of the authorities vary greatly in size and structure and are in widely scattered locations. Whether a standard regulation for participating in the Ridematching Service with a guaranteed mobility for all 40,000 public servants can be found, remains to be seen. Thus the situation at the moment is such that the individual auithorities do in fact have great interest in the Ridematching Service, but see no way (yet) of financing it.

For security purposes, talks are being held with the agents in the "Land" of Bremen on data privacy protection as well as trial clarification at the workplace tax office for assessing the question as to whether employer participation is to be evaluated as a "monetary advantage" for the employees, or not.

The aim is to commence the service during the course of September 1998. In order to do this, a pool of companies with a total of at least 6,000 employees is to be set up first. Successful results for the RidematchingService cannot be evaluated until this "critical mass" has been attained. According to the progress made in previous advertising campaigns, the total number of employees of the potential companies approaches this "critical mass" at a rapid pace.

Parallel with this, negotiations are being held with the largest private enterprise in Bremen (18,000 employees), which is located in the east of Bremen.

Feedback from the means of advertising used (notice boards, flyers, etc.) is quite positive. Only the flat-rate costs for guaranteed mobility prove to be a dififcult barrier in individual cases. The fact that the RidematchingService (FahrgemeinschaftsService) does not present itself as a "project", but as a long-term service in the private sector of the economy, also plays a positive role.

A problem results from the fact, that in some companies the introduction of the Job Ticket for the employees is brought up on the agenda by the employees' councils at the same time. Although this is in fact welcome in principle (and is exactly in keeping with the intentions of the move project) valuable losses both in time and as a result of friction then occur. In connection with the Job Ticket, amounts are discussed which are several times higher than the costs to be assessed by the RidematchingService.

It would have been easier to start the RidematchingService in industrial areas located on the periphery. Since the first round of acquisition had to lie in the vicinity of the company which had risked carrying out the pilot application (Kraft-Jacobs-Suchard), the RidematchingService is now occupied with the companies having the best links to the local public transport network and the highest proportion of non-motorised traffic in Bremen. On the other hand particular incentives for participating in the carpool RidematchingService well exist in the central location of the town, too. This concerns above all, the extremely high cost of land and land requirement.

Whatever the case, the RidematchingService has found an existing niche in the market. The talks in the companies confirm this in all clarity. Therefore, the justified hope exists that the service can support itself economically, medium-term.