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ViaVan and Debono Group Launch Malta’s First-Ever Ridesharing Service
Cool is ViaVan’s tenth dynamic on-demand transit deployment in Europe, and the first service in Malta to offer shared rides
July 11, 2019 (MALTA) — ViaVan, the joint venture between global on-demand shared transit experts Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans, today announced a new transportation venture in partnership with the Debono Group called Cool. The new on-demand shared transit network brings affordable and efficient shared rides to Malta beginning July 10.
Cool is Malta’s first-ever transportation service offering efficient, on-demand shared rides. By riding with Cool, users now have an affordable, eco-friendly, and efficient way to commute across the island nation.
“ViaVan is redefining public mobility across Europe, seamlessly integrating with public transport to provide 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 groundbreaking on-demand service with Debono Group, providing 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.”
Using the Cool app, riders will be able to hail a shuttle directly from their smartphone. The Cool app is powered by advanced algorithms developed by ViaVan’s parent company, Via, which enables multiple riders to seamlessly share a single vehicle. The powerful technology directs passengers to a nearby corner — a virtual bus stop — for pick up and drop off, and dynamically routes the vehicle in real-time, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules.
“I welcome this initiative as one of the sustainable transportation options, which will contribute to reducing traffic on the roads,” said Dr. Ian Borg, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects. “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.”
During the launch period, vehicles will operate within a fixed zone covering: 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.
Following the launch stage, the service will be gradually extended to cover additional areas around the Maltese islands.
“Cool is our latest step in our endeavor to build a sustainable mobility ecosystem in Malta,” said Geoffrey Debono, the Group CEO. “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.”
Cool is a new project under the umbrella of the Debono Group. Following the successful launch of the GoTo car sharing platform in 2018, the mobility group turned to ViaVan to deliver another first to the Maltese islands.
Commuters can use the service by downloading the Cool smartphone app powered by Via, available on iOS and Android. Rides anywhere within the zone are a low flat fare of €4.95, and additional passengers are just €2.48 each, half of the standard price.
Via and ViaVan have been tapped by cities and transportation players around the world to help re-engineer public transit from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Via and ViaVan now have nearly 80 launched and pending deployments in more than 15 countries. To learn more, visit www.platform.ridewithvia.com.
ViaVan is a leading provider of innovative on-demand shared transit services in Europe. ViaVan was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Via, the world’s leading provider and developer of on-demand public mobility, and Mercedes-Benz Vans, the leading manufacturer of iconic passenger and cargo vans. Working closely with cities and public transit operators, ViaVan powers dynamic mobility services that complement existing transportation infrastructure. Through their partnership, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via are also collaborating on the development of advanced mobility solutions, from sensor technology, to electric vehicle fleet management, to autonomous driving. For more information, visit www.viavan.com.