Malta's first ride sharing service ceases operations

The company says that mobility services offered by Cool will not be feasable without government policy incentives

Malta's first ridesharing company, Cool, announced on Tuesday that it will be ceasing operations as of 27 January, citing that such services are not feasible without government support.

The company, which was established in 2019, aimed to join multiple passengers traveling to similar destinations in the same vehicle, offering a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and traffic-reducing alternative to single occupancy transportation.

According to Michael Debono, Executive Director at Debono Group, which owns the Cool brand, the company helped to reduce Malta's significant traffic congestion problem and encouraged a shift towards more sustainable solutions.

In Malta, almost 90% of all trips take place by means of single-occupancy vehicles. The company said that without government support, "it has become clear that the mobility services offered by Cool will not be a feasible solution going forward".

Cool is the third alternative transport company to stop operations in Malta over the past few months. The bicycle-sharing company Nextbike terminated operations in December 2022, while car-sharing company GoTo closed in September the same year.

This also comes after the introduction of free public transport.

A 2021 Polar survey on private taxi use showed that Cool held a small share of the market. Only 2.5% of respondents had named Cool as their preferred taxi company of choice.

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Cool will refund all its pass users by Friday, January 27 and will ensure that its driver partners are paid in full.

The Debono Group said it is committed to remaining an active player in the mobility space by striving to deliver innovative solutions and remains engaged with several stakeholders – both private and public – to seek new opportunities in the mobility space.