Cool Ride-Pooling service launches in Malta

A car of Cool Ride-Pooling’s fleet. (source: Cool Ride-Pooling media, edited by Dorian Fenech)

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Cool Ride-Pooling service has just launched in Malta, offering ride-pooling possibilities in the central region of the island, according to a press statement sent to Business Malta. CEO Laura Jasenaite tells BM that their solution aims to offer an alternative for commuting, in hopes of reducing the number of cars in the heavily-congested roads of Malta.

“Our long-term goal is to get people out of their vehicles and encourage them to utilise ride-pooling, so we would have less traffic in the streets of Malta. This can only be done if we make mobility efficient and financially cheaper than maintaining a car, while the same convenience is offered for passengers,” Laura Jasenaite, CEO of Cool Ride-Pooling, tells BM.

The platform is powered by ride-pooling solution provider ViaVan, which application’s algorithms match passengers travelling in the same direction and finds the optimal route for their trip within a travel zone.

“Having a reliable and well-working technology is inevitable for reducing waiting times and offering a service that is quick and convenient,” Ms Jasenaite says when talking about the app their service uses.

“We would like to get people to use our services for everyday commuting. Businesses can join us in encouraging their employees to leave their car behind by sponsoring their commutes through our app with either buying trips for them or offering credits for our app as a benefit,” Ms Jasenaite adds.

Ian Borg, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, applauded the recently-launched service as an attempt to reduce the number of cars in the roads of Malta. “I welcome this initiative as one of the sustainable transportation options, which will contribute to reducing traffic on the roads. Today most of the private vehicle journeys are completed by a single person. Ride-pooling can increase vehicle occupancy and deliver tangible benefits for both passengers and the environment such as saved costs fuel and parking, cleaner air and decreased the need for parking,” the minister said.

Debono Group investment

Cool Ride-Pooling is a new project under the umbrella of the Debono Group. Following the launch of the GoTo car sharing platform in 2018, the mobility group has looked to deliver another first to the Maltese islands.

“Cool is our latest step in our endeavour to build a sustainable mobility ecosystem in Malta. Our aim is to make mobility on the island the most effective and efficient yet simplest in the world. We look to enhance the experience offered to customers by leveraging technology to deliver best in class solutions that cater to customer needs and requirements. Cool ensures that the quickest routes are calculated dynamically in real-time, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours,” said Geoffrey Debono, the Group’s CEO.

“The group is looking to move the needle when it comes to local transportation options. We want to deploy a solution that makes shared transport a more appealing choice to everyone and we hope to onboard hundreds of commuters every day from across Malta — thus ensuring Cool can really be a game changer in the mobility space — making ride-hailing more accessible and affordable for everyone,” added Michael Debono, the Group’s Strategic Director.

“ViaVan is a global leader in the ride pooling space and today operates services in major global cities including New York, London, Berlin and Amsterdam. The company is redefining public mobility by providing fully on-demand and dynamic transportation solutions,” said Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan. “Malta is an innovation-forward country, so we’re delighted to launch this ground- breaking on-demand service in partnership with the Debono Group. Together we look to provide everyone, from residents to tourists, with a convenient, affordable and congestion-reducing transportation alternative. This is truly a great example of a country embracing the future of mobility.”

During the launch period, the vehicles will be operating within a fixed zone covering the Attard, Balzan, Birguma, Birkirkara, Blata l-Bajda, Floriana, Gharghur, Gwardamangia, Gzira, Hamrun, Ibragg, Iklin, Imriehel, Kappara, Lija, Madliena, Marsa, Msida, Swatar, Swieqi, Paceville, Pembroke, Pieta, Qormi, San Gwann, Sliema, St. Julians, St. Venera, Ta Xbiex, and Valletta areas. Following the launch stage, the service will be gradually extended to cover more and more localities in Malta.

Travelling within this zone costs €4.95 per ride, whole second passengers in the same booking will ride for €2.48, 50% of the standard price, the press statement says.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The present article has been uploaded with the comment made by transport minister Ian Borg, a crosshead has been added and the cover picture has been changed.