Malta’s first on-demand ride-pooling service has announced that it will expand its service to Mdina, Mtarfa, Rabat, Ta’ Qali, Zebbug, Paola, Luqa and the Airport, giving even more people access to affordable, eco-friendly travel.
Cool Ride-Pooling is a first of its kind in Malta, a novel solution introduced by Debono Group. Somewhere between a private taxi service and public transport, it offers shared rides and pre-set rates. With traffic on Maltese roads increasing daily, Cool is providing a much-needed solution – saving time, money, and users’ carbon footprint.
The concept is simple: trips are booked via a dedicated app on either iPhone or Android. Riders enter details of their journey, and are quickly added to a shared vehicle and picked up from a nearby corner. They’re then dropped off within easy walking distance – on average, 100m – of their chosen location. Prices start from as low as €3.95 per passenger within the operating area (and a €1.00 off concession when travelling to or from hospital). Additional passengers pay an additional €2.50 each, no matter the distance.
Since launching in July 2019, Cool’s zones of operation have been limited to Attard, Balzan, Birguma, Birkirkara, Blata l-Bajda, Floriana, Gharghur, Gwardamangia, Gzira, Hamrun, Ibragg, Iklin, Mriehel, Kappara, Lija, Madliena, Marsa, Msida, Naxxar, Swatar, Swieqi, Paceville, Pembroke, Pieta, Qormi, San Gwann, Sliema, St Julian’s, St Venera, Ta’ Xbiex, and Valletta. As of this week, the service will be extended into the neighbouring localities of Mdina, Mtarfa, Rabat, Ta’ Qali, Zebbug, Paola and Luqa, including the airport. This is the first step in Cool’s plan to eventually extend its ride-sharing service to everyone, everywhere on the island.
Expanding into seven new localities will build on Cool’s already booming user base. Still in its first six months of operation, the app has had over 35,000 downloads and completed over 65,000 rides. The demand is increasing, with frequent requests from people living outside the current service zone. CEO Laura Jasenaite commented, “we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response so far. People are loving the fixed price, ease of booking, and stress-free drop off which frees them up from parking problems.”
It’s safe to say that Cool has been a success story so far, and it looks like the only way is up from here. Ms Jasenaite continues, “Many of trips are booked during peak hours, like the morning and evening commute. This is proof that we’re fulfilling one of our aims – to ease congestion on Maltese roads. Three passengers in a Cool vehicle means two less cars on the road.”
To encourage regular ride-pooling, Cool has launched offers, students’ discounts and monthly passes to lower the price per trip for frequent riders.
Ride-pooling is a huge step in the right direction for sustainability in Malta, moving us away from the one-person-per-car mentality that has exhausted our busy roads to breaking point. Cool is making sustainable, accessible and affordable travel a reality – a win-win for our people and our planet.
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About Debono Group
Debono Group is a leader in liveability solutions, leveraging cutting-edge technology and the innovative spirit of its people to pioneer sustainable alternatives to challenges in mobility, wellbeing and business development. Founded in 1960 by Michael Debono, the Group became the first Toyota distributorship in Europe. Since then it has continued to be driven a forward-looking vision that has allowed it to build a reputation for customer excellence, product innovation and respect for the community.