Since the SBB Mobile Preview Community was started a year ago, the 11,908 Community members have written 5,886 posts. With their involvement, they have made an important contribution to the further development of SBB Mobile. One of these people is Urs Wolffers, 60, a timetable enthusiast with a critical mind.
With over 300 posts, you are one of the most active members of the Preview Community, Mr Wolffers. What is the motivation behind your involvement in this Community?
I am a slow man from Bern. Before I travel, I need to know while still in Bern where to board the train so I can reach my destination in Zurich as quickly as possible. I hope that my involvement in the Community will help other travellers get around more easily with fewer clicks. The information regarding train formation is an important step towards this, although I would have liked it to be more detailed. For example, it could be in the form of a train formation plan with details of coach numbers, low-floor access and toilets. Information about steps, ramps and lifts that are out of order in the station would be helpful too. This would enable me to plan my journey from the comfort of my own home.
Is there anything else like this that you’re passionate about?
I’ve been interested in timetables for as long as I can remember. I’ve compared timetables from all over the world and I must say that I’m actually really happy with SBB’s timetabling. That’s also why I care a lot about developing the timetable in the app. Another thing is how user-friendly the payment process is – but I don’t use that so much. Apart from that, I’ve also campaigned for an offline timetable option for people who have limited Internet access, but it’s not possible to make that a reality, unfortunately.
Have any of your suggestions been implemented specifically?
It definitely wasn’t only my idea, but one of the biggest pluses of the new app is that you can buy regional transport tickets straight from the homepage. I’ve also campaigned for an emergency number that’s easy to find.
How do you rate the way SBB and the other Community members work together?
The Community needs to be moderated strictly and something should be done to make sure that people check whether a topic has been discussed before. Unfortunately, lots of members don’t take the time to use the search function to check this. As for SBB, I would have liked to see them respond quickly to rejected ideas as well. But the fact that new products are being developed with the customers’ help is really great. And now I’m very happy to accept this lovely supper as a thank you for my involvement!
With SBB Mobile’s launch date just around the corner, what do you think of the result?
You definitely have to get used to the new app first because it isn’t based on the old one – it’s been developed entirely from scratch – but it has lots of great new features. I like the touch timetable most of all, and the team are still working hard to improve the app even more. Despite the new app, people who don’t have Internet access should still receive good service at the station.
We would like to thank Urs Wolffers for his involvement in the Community and for agreeing to give this interview.