Last Updated on Monday, 7 October, 2019 at 8:32 am by Christian Keszthelyi
Malta’s on-demand ride-pooling platform Cool is dropping its per-ride fare for passengers travelling to and from the Mater Dei Hospital and the St Luke’s Hospital, hoping to reduce congestion in the areas, as well as aiming to “give back to the community,” according to a press statement sent to Business Malta.
“Since parking is tricky both at Mater Dei Hospital and at St Luke’s Hospital, we feel that this is something we can do to give back to the community,” says Cool Ride-Pooling CEO Laura Jasenaite. Cool is lowering the per-rate ride to €3.95 — from the original €4.95 — for passengers travelling to and from the two aforementioned clinics.
“This way, passengers have the convenience of a cab, especially if they need to carry anything with them [although passengers are advised to call prior to the ride if carrying big luggage]. We hope that it will make getting to and from the hospitals much easier, cheaper and more efficient, while also reducing congestion in these crucial spots,” the CEO adds.
After having run for three months, the service has reached approximately 500 trips every day. “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,” Ms Jasenaite told Business Malta upon launching the service in July.
Cool Ride-Pooling offers what it calls a “corner-to-corner” service; the car picks travellers up from a nearby corner and drops them off at another corner near to their destination, with an average total walking distance of around 100 metres. As Cool offers a ride-pooling service, passengers will travel with others in the same car, heading in the same direction. Cool hopes that by encouraging people to pool they would be able to reduce the number of cars in traffic and at parking spaces.
“We have received very positive feedback from the general public so far. As well as avoiding the need to find parking, they like the price, particularly, as it is fixed and unaffected by the time of day, time spent in the vehicle or traffic delays,” Ms Jasenaite says.
“We are currently carrying out around 500-600 trips per day, with most of those trips taking place during peak hours, such as the morning and evening rush hours. This shows that people are using us for their commute, so we are already helping congestion. Having three people in a Cool vehicle means at least two fewer cars in roads, which also goes towards reducing each person’s carbon footprint,” the CEO adds.
Currently, Cool operates in a limited zone in central Malta, carrying passengers to and from the following localities: Attard, Balzan, Birguma, Birkirkara, Blata l-Bajda, Floriana, Gharghur, Gwardamangia, Gzira, Hamrun, Ibragg, Iklin, Mriehel, Kappara, Lija, Madliena, Marsa, Msida, Swatar, Swieqi, Paceville, Pembroke, Pieta, Qormi, San Gwann, Sliema, St Julian’s, St Venera, Ta’ Xbiex, and Valletta. Nevertheless, Cool is planning to expand coverage further, dependent on the popularity of the service.