Crowdfunded startup dismantles German train monopoly

Crowdfunded startup dismantles German train monopoly

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Deutsche Bahn (DB) is the second-largest transport company in the world and the largest railway operator and infrastructure owner in Europe. Like many legacy rail networks around Europe, DB operates on a service and product model that was developed in the early part of the 20th century, providing customers with an outdated service. Despite this, it operates a monopoly with two billion passengers using its service each year. Attempting to dismantle their hold is innovative rail company, Locomore.

Locomore is a new service that will trial a number of improvements for passengers. Tickets will be half the price of a DB train and can be purchased online with no extra fees. The trains themselves will be fitted with Wi-Fi, power outlets and tables, unlike DB. Locomore also aims to be environmentally friendly. The company uses electricity from green power provider Naturstrom AG, and serves sustainable, locally-sourced food and drink for travellers. The startup is also enticing customers with greater choice. Passengers are able to choose what type of riding experience they prefer, from a quiet ride to a “themed” car based on their interests (they can choose to sit with people who have similar interests such as comic books, football or knitting). On top of this, for business customers, Locomore offers private compartments for those needing to work or conduct meetings. The first service ran on December 14th 2016 with a new long-distance train between Berlin-Hannover-Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

Springwise has written about a number crowdfunded infrastructural projects such as these kinetically powered streetlight and this car straddling bus. Initially crowdfunded on the German platform StarNext, Locomore raised over EUR 250,000 to develop a real alternative to DB. Clearly there is a market for this new kind of infrastructure. Will other countries follow suit?


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