How profitable is the bicycle taxi system

Velotaxi - viewing an innovation of the 20th century

Table of Contents

List of figures

1 Introduction

2. Velotaxi GmbH Berlin
2.1 Historical review
2.3 Velotaxis ideas
2.4 Makers and sponsors
2.5 Strategy team and its tasks

3. Content and subjective dimension

4. Market conditions
4.1 Positive influencing factors
4.2 Barriers and Resistance

5. Process dimension of innovation

6. Normative dimension of innovation

7. Conclusion

8. Outlook for 2006

9. Bibliography

10. Appendix

List of figures

Illustration 1: Sedan chair, 1867

Figure 2: Rickshaw, late 19th century.

Figure 3 Velotaxi and alternative inner-city passenger transport in comparison (train means S-Bahn in the inner city area)

Figure 4: Who is Velotaxi new for?

Figure 5: Velotaxi concept locations (national and international)

1 Introduction

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come!” As early as 1869, Victor Hugo (French writer) recognized that not just one idea is enough to implement something new. It is important to consider the idea against the background of its time. In the current millennium, values ​​such as environmental protection and sustainability count like never before. Ludger Matuszewski had the idea of ​​a bicycle taxi and was the first to implement it in this form. The result is Velotaxi GmbH Berlin, which has been in existence since 1997.

In this term paper, we, Silvia Kramer and Lydia Plagge, would like to go into this company and analyze it in terms of innovation. We are based on the four central dimensions that are associated with every innovation process:

I. Content dimension
II. Subjective dimension
III. Process dimension
IV. Normative dimension

Lydia Plagge introduces the topic of bicycle taxis with a historical review, then introduces the company and then refers to the content-related and subjective dimension of the innovation.

Silvia Kramer first presents the doers and sponsors as well as the strategy team and their tasks and then takes a look at the general market conditions. In the further course she deals with the procedural and normative dimension.

The elaboration concludes with an outlook on the year of the 2006 World Cup, written by Lydia Plagge.

2. Velotaxi GmbH Berlin

2.1 Historical review

Since the end of the 19th century, rickshaws have been a well-known, traditional form of passenger transport in Asia[1]. The invention of the rickshaw, however, originated in Japan. Reverend M. B. Bailey spent some time in Tokyo in the early 1970s. There he observed European tourists who could not cope with the usual passenger transport there. At the time, people or animals carried a wooden frame that was a little padded, a litter[2] (Fig. 1).

Figure not included in this excerpt

Figure 1: Palanquin, 1867[3]

Figure not included in this excerpt

Figure 2: Rickshaw, late 19th century.[4]

However, this was too narrow for the European buttocks, so that the tourists could not use the offer. The Reverend M. B. Bailey then had the idea of ​​adding a chair to a handcart.

The European tourists could be transported in this way and, moreover, the transport was made much easier. The rickshaw (Fig. 2), a small two-wheeled vehicle that can be pulled by a person to carry people, was invented. Jin-riki-sha means human car.

Figure not included in this excerpt

This form of passenger transport has recently also been available with a bicycle drive. Such a vehicle is called a cycle rickshaw.

2.2 Presentation of Velotaxi GmbH Berlin

The company Velotaxi GmbH Berlin was founded in 1997 by Ludger Matuszewski.[5] During a trip to Central and South America, he admired the passenger transport system known as the collectivos.[6] This is not a permanently installed traffic system with established lines and stops, but the customers determine the route of the vehicle. Each driver is his own entrepreneur. This idea, combined with the idea of ​​protecting the environment, gave rise to the Velotaxi concept. Ludger Matuszewski worked this out together with a friend, who ultimately resigned from becoming self-employed.

L. Matuszewski was aware very early on that this idea could not be financed with the income from the taxi operation. As an additional source of income, he used the rental of the advertising space on the Velotaxen.[7]

Velotaxi GmbH Berlin is represented in the season from April to October with an increasing number of vehicles in inner-city traffic since 1997.[8] The drivers transport customers to the location of their choice from 12 noon to 8 pm. In addition to this taxi service, Velotaxi GmbH Berlin has four fixed lines that some vehicles leave regularly. The fee to be paid for use is uniform and does not exceed the fee for a bus trip. In addition to this regular service, Velotaxi GmbH Berlin offers other forms of use of the bicycle taxi, e.g. B sightseeing[9]:

- Tour 1:"Historic Berlin"
- Tour 2:"The new Berlin"
- Tour 3:"Through the government district"
- Tour 4:"The Scheunenviertel through the ages"
- Tour 5:"Along the Landwehr Canal"
- Tour 6:"The princely journey along the Spree"
- Tour 7:"The great zoo"
- Tour 8:"Rudi Dutschke and the Hash Rebels"

It is also possible to rent vehicles from Velotaxi GmbH Berlin for events, e.g. B. on an "open day", at branch openings or trade fairs. For example, the potential customer can be transported directly to the entrance. Of course, the Velotaxi can be equipped with appropriate advertising here.

The drivers of the Velotaxen are self-employed.[10] The prerequisite for their activity is the possession of a valid travel business card, a valid driver's license and a valid ID.[11] These people have the option of renting a Velotaxi for around € 5 a day.[12] You can then use this for your trips in and around Berlin. 100% of the income they receive goes into their own wallet. It is important to note that the drivers do not have to transport every customer. If a route seems too long or too difficult for them, it is up to everyone to reject the customer's request.[13] In addition to the rental vehicle, Velotaxi GmbH Berlin provides each driver with Goretex work clothes and a company cell phone.

2.3 Velotaxis ideas

From all the documents that were available to us about Velotaxi, it can be said that Velotaxi GmbH Berlin combines five essential features in its concept:

- Passenger transportation
- environmental protection
- Individual transport
- Inexpensive offer
- advertising media

1. Passenger transportation

Velotaxi is intended to offer another means of transporting people in addition to means of transport such as buses, taxis and trams. An inner-city mobility service is offered.

2. Environmental protection

The Velotaxen are quasi three-wheelers, one wheel at the front and two more wheels at the back next to the seat for passengers. They are operated almost exclusively with the muscle power of the driver. However, every rider has the option of electric pedal assistance[14] to switch on.

This is useful, for example, when moving off, on inclines or when there is a short-term lack of strength.

3. Individual transport

Since the Velotaxi are usually not tied to a fixed timetable or a fixed route, there is the possibility that customers can use the bicycle taxi individually. Similar to a car taxi, you determine the timetable for the Velotaxi through your place of entry and the desired location mentioned. You have the chance to get off right in front of the front door, while the bus route runs further away.

4. Inexpensive offer

The use of Velotaxen is just as cheap as the city bus offer. Unfortunately, there is no information on the amount of the user fees on the Velotaxi homepage.

5. Advertising media

As the last essential and particularly important function, Velotaxi GmbH Berlin takes on the use of the vehicles for advertising purposes. Each Velotaxi has an advertising space of around 4 m²[15]. The largest space is on the rear wall of the vehicles. Here the advertiser can be changed within approx. Five minutes. Furthermore, the roof of the Velotaxen is stable so that it can be used for various structures (exhibits). In addition to the externally visible advertising space, there is a flyer pocket on the partition between the driver and passenger. The passenger, who presumably does not perceive the external advertising for so long, can still be reached. It is also possible for the advertiser to determine the driver's clothing and thus achieve a further advertising effect.


[1] See below:

[2] See



[5] See Fichter, Klaus. Final report on the practice object Velotaxi. P. 5.

[6] See below: ibid. P. 7.

[7] See ibid. P. 7.

[8] See below: ibid. P. 5.

[9] See below:

[10] See Fichter, Klaus. Final report on the practice object Velotaxi. P. 5.

[11] See

[12] See Fichter, Klaus. Final report on the practice object Velotaxi. P. 5.

[13] See

[14] See

[15] See below:

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