Five minutes with Victoria Markewitz, European Business Development Principal - Viavan

Can you please share a little about yourself with our visitors?

Victoria Markewitz is part of the European Business Development team of Via Transportation and ViaVan, the joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via, based in Berlin. She is responsible to drive the launch of Via’s and ViaVan’s licensing partnerships with European and Middle Eastern public transport operators and cities.

Prior to Via, Victoria worked as a management consultant for Roland Berger in the Transportation Competence Center, both in Germany and the Middle East, to consult clients on innovative mobility solutions and strategies.

Can you please tell us why you chose to exhibit at CiTTi 2019?

Over the next few years, we’re increasingly going to see cities and towns asking how they can provide their residents with transportation that provides the same ease and convenience as private car ownership, and yet still achieves the same environmental and congestion-reducing benefits mass transit.

We’re excited to showcase what Via’s been doing in partnerships with transportation authorities around the world — including in Milton Keynes — providing their residents an affordable, comfortable, flexible and sustainable alternative to personal car ownership. Those visiting the CiTTi 2019 exhibition can even try Via’s service out for themselves.

What will you be sharing with visitors to the exhibition?

Over the next few years, we’re increasingly going to see cities and towns asking how they can provide their residents with public transportation that radically improves the customer experience, and yet still achieves the same environmental benefits of existing mass transit solutions.

Public transit agencies are increasingly realizing there’s a need for on-demand ridesharing solutions within the greater transit matrix. I’m delighted to share my expertise on shared mobility at the CiTTi Exhibition, drawing from Via’s experience providing microtransit solutions around the globe to highlight how transit authorities are using this technology to increase ridership and reduce congestion and emissions.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the industry at the moment?

If you look at cities where public transportation is really great, like London, Berlin, New York, or Tokyo, you find that the majority of people already choose not to own a car. In other words, people prefer to use a great public transportation service rather than own their own vehicle, but only if the service is truly excellent.

That’s the key challenge for cities today, because as cities grow, it becomes difficult to continue to build affordable, efficient and reliable public transportation. Servicing parts of a community’s population with fixed bus routes that may only arrive every hour just to say every resident has access to public transit is not the solution.

Via works with cities to complement and evolve existing public transport infrastructure by making it extremely convenient and affordable for everyone to take public transportation, whether it’s a subway or an on-demand shuttle.