Corporate history

From university spin-off to global player

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At INIT, we can look back at a history of more than 40 years. During all these years, we have continuously improved our solutions and, with this, further developed public transport. Our organizational memory contains a multitude of outstanding episodes and achievements, which have all together lead to who and where we are today. Here come our company’s milestones.


INIT’s history began in 1983 when Dr. Gottfried Greschner founded the company as a university spin-off. He further developed his research project on demand-driven bus traffic into a business case. With only a handful of co-workers, INIT provided its first customer Friedrichshafen at Lake Constance with parts of a management system for demand-driven traffic.


In 1988, INIT received the first assignment for a complete Intermodal Transport Control System (ITCS). The authority of Osnabruck relied on the team of only 17 people back then. We are proud that Osnabruck is our customer since then. At almost the same time, INIT started its hardware development. Reliable field devices were required to ensure the proper functioning of the system. So INIT set up its first on-board computer, the COPILOT.


The next milestone in INIT’s history came with its first international project. In 1990, the authority of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, assigned INIT with an ITCS – a huge step in the company’s development and a challenge for the young team. A long-term partnership followed – crowned by an award for the most innovative IT and telematics project in Sweden in 2006. Since the first project in the early 90s, the authority of Stockholm belongs to INIT’s customer.



In 1995, INIT took the first step into the ticketing market by developing and offering the first device for printing and selling tickets – the EFADcompact. Truly innovative for that time was the fact that the device contained a reader for chipcards. This way, the German “GeldKarte” (money card) – which was brandnew at that time – was accepted as a payment option.



Four years later, in 1999, INIT founded its US subsidiary to cover the North American market. The company’s growth not only increased on a global scale, but the portfolio of products and services also expanded: The entry into the planning software market succeeded by the acquisition of the planning system MFS 90 from the company KRUPP.


In 2001, INIT became a listed company on the German stock exchange. Since then, init AG, founded in 2000, fulfills a holding function for the further growing INIT Group.


The ITCS expert panel of the German Transport Association VDV (Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen) honored INIT with the itcs-Innovations-Award in 2009. The prize was awarded for the new “online detour” feature within the fleet management system MOBILE-ITCS.



A new chapter in the company’s history was the first assignment for a pioneering ID-/account-based ticketing system. The order came from the City of Turku, Finland. With an innovative concept and state-of-the-art technology, INIT set a benchmark.



In 2014, Dr. Gottfried Greschner received the Special Career Service Award. The honor was awarded at the Transports Publics exhibition by a jury consisting of European journalists specialized in the transport sector.


init AG strengthens its presence at its Karlsruhe location. A tall, modern office building was constructed at the company headquarters between 2013 and 2015 and was inaugurated on June 18, 2015. It complements INIT’s campus, allowing for future growth, and is proof of the company’s global success.



An important step in INIT’s development was the conversion of the stock company from a listed company under German law (Aktiengesellschaft, abbreviated AG) into a European stock corporation – a Societas Europaea (SE) in 2017. INIT generates the major part of its revenue outside of Germany and has become the worldwide leading supplier of integrated planning, dispatching, telematics and ticketing systems for buses and trains. The conversion into a SE emphasizes INIT’s strong international focus. 



With its integrated electromobility solution eMOBILE, INIT offers a comprehensive solution for the use of electric buses and is therefore helping to shape the future of public transport. The solution makes it possible to take into account all the special requirements of electric buses - from planning and simulation, depot and charging management, operational control and range forecasting to analysis and reporting. INIT’s solutions help transport companies worldwide to operate their growing electric bus fleets economically and efficiently.


The 2019 UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm was a great success. INIT was pleased to receive two awards for the MAVIS project implemented with the Singapore Land Transit Authority - the UITP Award in the Diversity & Inclusion category and the Asia Pacific Special Recognition Award. Both awards recognize a project that facilitates access to public transport for visually, hearing and mobility impaired passengers.



With the launch of the innovation campaign "nextGen", INIT underlines its position as a solution provider for more reliable, attractive and efficient public transport with its state-of-the-art technologies and digitalization possibilities. By using optimization tools, assistance systems and machine learning, the "nextGen" products and solutions provide even more diverse and precise information, recognize situations automatically and are available as a cloud-based solution. Automated or partially automated processes also speed up response times and help ensure service quality.


The INIT Group looks back on a 40-year success story. Begun as a university spin-off from KIT, INIT is now an internationally successful group that supports more than 1,100 transport companies around the world to make public transport more attractive. The basis of its success is a modular range of solutions that cover all the transport companies’ operational tasks.

To ensure that INIT continues to deliver this success, our focus is always on the challenges that transport companies have to face in an increasingly demanding environment. INIT works with unwavering passion on the digital transformation of public transport and develops solutions for the mobility of tomorrow and beyond.