You recently opened a co-working space at Berlin’s main railway station. What does this have to do with mobility?
Ultimately, corona has shown how closely work and mobility are linked. You can already work wonderfully in our trains today. But the moment our customers leave the train, they lose the mobile office. That’s where we come in – with workstations in the station, without a contract, billed by the minute. We believe that such offers will also work at smaller commuter stations in the future.
Where does the demand come from?
Many people who work in a home office will occasionally need another place of work close to their homes. A desk that can be used when needed. Or a place to meet colleagues.
Is the station of the future a multifunctional building?
First and foremost, a station remains a mobility hub where different modes of transport meet. But stations are also always places where people meet. During normal times, 21 million people board, disembark or change trains at German railway stations every day. I know of no other place that reaches such numbers. Other functions are becoming increasingly important. A station can be an art gallery, cinema, marketplace or logistics hub. This is why we have launched the “Hamburg Box” as a pilot project.
What is the “Hamburg Box”?
We call the “Hamburg Box” intelligent lockers, which we have set up at 20 stations from Altona to Wandsbek. The idea: many people order online. Since they are not always at home, the delivery people often ring the bell in vain. This is a pity for the delivery companies and a pity for the customers who have to pick up the order in a parcel shop. With the “Hamburg Box”, people can take the goods with them to a place they pass by regardless. In this way we are making a contribution to reducing commercial traffic.
Will you extend the project?
We firmly believe that there is demand for multi-brand lockers not only in Hamburg, but throughout Germany. But first we want to gain more experience – for example, about the right locations. By the way, the system is not only open to online trading. Every shop, including stationary retailers, can use the “Hamburg Box”.