Voice branding: BVG's custom voice, created by Acapela Group, provides unequalled personalized and efficient continuous service.

BVG, in collaboration with Acapela, developed a unified acoustic brand identity that is part of a large-scale sound branding process.


The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (Berlin Transport Company) is the main public transport company in Germany’s capital city of Berlin. Also known as BVG, the company manages the city's U-Bahn underground railway, tram, bus, replacement services (Ersatzverkehr, EV) and ferry networks.

In 2017, BVG set a record of 1,064 million passengers, which is more than 2.9 million journeys per day.

For more than 15 years, BVG used the same city-famous voice of Helga Bayertz. After her retirement, various alternatives were tried, but it quickly became clear that a new and highly recognizable voice was needed.
BVG is modernizing its entire passenger information system and Acapela won the tender for the voice expertise.

The ambitious project includes a custom voice, unique to BVG, that will be instantly recognized by BVG’s users on their daily commute. Philippa is the official company voice, reliable and recognizable.


"We look at the digital voice as an essential part of the whole plan. It was clear to us that we didn't want a standard voice. Just like all our vehicles are yellow, it was important to speak with our own recognizable voice," says Manuela St. Claire, Project Manager at BVG.

BVG was looking for a smart solution that enables real time information with high quality output, autonomous from any recording constraint, flexible and available 24/7. It is exactly what text to speech is all about.

The voice was also intended to be used in what BVG calls ‘2 senses principle’, meaning that information to passengers would be both visual and acoustic. It provides relevant information to visually impaired passengers and draws the attention of all passengers, especially when information about disruption needs to be shared.


voice branding - BVG voice - Acapela Group

The Philippa voice, reliable and familiar, is now ready to inform passengers along their route.

The full plan also emphasizes on the subject of passenger satisfaction. While not all BVG vehicles are equipped with the latest loudspeaker technology, which has often led to complaints about the acoustics in the past, Acapela Group’s TTS voice has significantly improved audibility and reduced customer complaints regarding the quality of audio information.

Manuela St Claire adds: “the lead time required to record voice messages for future construction sites and detour announcements, is no longer a problem. Philippa’s voice can now easily inform passengers, in real time, of any disturbances along their route. This is an important step and the initial feedback is extremely positive”.

“We are very proud to be part of this innovative project. Voice branding is  now a strategic topic for transport companies and BVG fully integrated this consideration in their strategic approach. For Acapela, accompanying our customers in the development of their voice strategy is part of our core expertise. We not only provide a high quality voice that is excellent, technically speaking, but we also provide the voice that fits, based on Acapela’s latest innovations on neural TTS.” Comments Remy Cadic, CEO of Acapela Group.

Voice persona instantly recognizable

2.9 million journeys per day

Unique passenger experience

Listen to Philippa's voice samples
  • - Sample 1 of Philippa's custom voice (Zug Abfahrt)

    00:00 / 00:00
  • - Sample 2 of Philippa's custom voice (Info)

    00:00 / 00:00
"We look at the digital voice as an essential part of the whole plan. It was clear to us that we didn't want a standard voice. Just like all our vehicles are yellow, it was important to speak with our own recognizable voice"
Photo auteur

Manuela St. Claire Project Manager at BVG

Check other stories

DB is modernizing its full ITS system to ensure passengers the most consistent, reliable and optimal information, including a digital voice, created by Acapela Group.

Learn More

The Swedish Transport Administration, enriches its Passenger Information System with custom voices.

Learn more

We've got solutions for all your needs

Discover our solutions

Got a question ?
Got a project ?

Contact us