Berlin’s public transportation company Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) placed its last two pairs of Adidas sneakers up for auction on eBay on Thursday, January 25, 2018 saying they will donate the proceeds to a local charity to benefit the city’s homeless.
“‘They’ll all end up on eBay anyway,’ you said. Fine, then we’re auctioning off our last two pairs to benefit the Kältehilfe [a charity that offers shelter to the homeless during the winter], since many people sleep outside, even if there’s not a sneaker sale,” BVG wrote on Twitter.
Hundreds of people waited for hours in the cold — including some who’d camped out for days — for the shoes to go on sale at Adidas on January 16.
The tongue of the sneakers serves as a year-long ticket to ride Berlin’s buses, trams and subways — but the person has to be wearing the shoes for the ticket to be valid. The pattern on the shoe is the same as the infamous, graffiti-resistant covering of Berlin’s subway train seats.