Car-Pooling and Ride-Pooling: What's the difference in Malta?
A quick Google search easily clears the difference between the two terms…
A carpool is an arrangement where a group of people take turns driving each other to work etc. Carpool is sometimes used to refer simply to people travelling together in a car.
Participate in an arrangement in which a passenger travels in a private vehicle driven by a cool driver for a fee.
As you can see the distinction between the two is pretty slim. However, in Malta the two are synonymous. There have been some attempts to start car-pooling with personal cars in Malta but the severe congestion, ironically, killed it at its inception. Car-pooling can-not exist in a place where the commute time becomes 1 to 1 and a half hours instead of 30 minutes. In terms of emissions, this isn’t even a saving. But that’s how long it would take you to pick up your friend from Gharghur and then get back down to Gzira/Ta Xbiex or Sliema for work. And Gharghur is not even that far.
This is why Ride-Pooling is the better option for Malta. The principle is the same, but it works far more efficiently using internationally developed AI software. By collecting the data of riders booking rides, the software’s algorithms match riders travelling in the same direction together, ensuring the shortest and most efficient route for all. Its analysis traffic data and minimizes detours, so the trip duration for riders is minimised. Pickups system makes rides even more efficient. Passengers are asked to walk few minutes to the closest pickup up, which is typically at the next intersection or the main road. The fact that the drivers don’t pick-up riders door-to-door, saves time as one does not have to go around in circles to reach the rider. Think of how much time is reduced when not getting stuck in those pesky one-way streets! And at the end of the day, you never have to walk too far. You just need to make sure you’re punctual.
The Cool app connects to all the drivers’ satnav systems and updates their routes based on rider bookings. It takes traffic into consideration as well as the optimum route to make everyone’s trip shorter. The great thing is that all this is offered at a flat fee. So, you just pay €4.95 per trip. This means you can just jump in and relax. There will be no extra fees no matter how bad the traffic is on that particular day.