So, I always say this. Germans are some of the coolest, weirdest and brilliant people around. Same thing applies here, because this German startup called Welect UG decided to address one of the issues of public transport: it ain’t cheap, especially in Deutschland. So here’s the basics: You pick a ticket, select a few sponsors and watch their promos. That’s it. Each promo is approximately 20 seconds long, and gives you a free ride on the services of the VRR(the local transport company of the Rhine-Ruhr area in Germany) and Rheinbahn(a subsidiary of VRR operating in and around Düsseldorf.) The tickets are primarily of two types: a one-way ticket that lasts 20 min and is good for 3 stops, and a ticket that allows full travel in the city of Düsseldorf for 90 min. Round trips, return trips and transfers are not permitted.
The ticket usually cost €2.60(€2,60 or $2.70), but as it seems many people love free things and would rather save a few bucks by spending time than pay for it. Which is also why the free ticket quantities are limited now! Philipp Dommers, the company’s co-founder, said he was expecting that around 1,000 people would use the app and get a free bus/train ticket by the end of the year. To his surprise, the initial expectations were greatly exceeded, as more than 20,000 people have already used the app and received a free ticket.
The biggest challenge facing the company now is getting enough advertisers on board so that it will be able to keep up with the massive demand. Each advertiser can choose how many times it wants its ad to show to each individual, so if someone is a frequent user of the app, he or she might not be eligible for a free ticket if there aren’t enough promotional videos available.
The company is already planning to expand its operations to other German cities as well as other countries, with the Netherlands(OV Chipkaart ftw lul) being first on the list.
What do you think about Welect GO? Would you use it if it was in your area?