21 Mar 2019

"Espresso with…" - Matthias Schultze discussing sustainable mobility with Ulf Middelberg

Matthias Schultze: I’m delighted to be meeting Ulf Middelberg today. He is the managing director of Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (Leipzig Public Transport) and a mobility expert. 

What are the mobility forms or concepts that help cities reduce CO2 emissions?

Ulf Middelberg: Leipzig Public Transport is a mobility provider, i.e., we combine our conventional offering of trams and busses with every conceivable means of mobility so that our customers can get to their destination in electromobile, environmentally-friendly and “city-friendly” ways.

Matthias Schultze: How important are digital tools or solutions for the mobility of the future, e.g., apps, platforms and other solutions such as autonomous driving?

Ulf Middelberg: The digitalisation is very significant for our company, be it in the context of optimising processes or data-driven business models. On a practical level this means that we are working on on-demand transport solutions or ride pooling and are already combining taxi, rental bikes and carsharing with our services on our digital platform to offer customers an integrated, one-stop product.

Matthias Schultze: How can these concepts be used for events in future and which roles can they play for events?

Ulf Middelberg: We have very good partners in Leipzig in the events business that are, from football club to Leipzig Trade Fair, on a “Champions League” level. This means we need to offer corresponding services. We work out combination ticket solutions even for smaller conventions because we know that it is to the benefit of the city, the conventions and, above all, of the visitors who can move around Leipzig with one single ticket.

Matthias Schultze: Finally, a personal question: How do you get about town and what is your preferred mode of transport?

Ulf Middelberg: In the context of sports and leisure, I use my bike. In fact, I also came here by bike today and will then take the tram to get to the office later. I also like driving and altogether it’s probably a mix of one third each. If you add the option of walking, it’s simply about trying and using everything that works best in any given situation – because mobility is the overall goal and not the use of one individual mode of transport.