Car sharing: A choice for the environment
Pollution and its main cause, traffic, have an undeniable and profoundly negative impact on quality of life. For motorists, the thought of facing gridlocked traffic every day is often accompanied by a sinking feeling of dread and anxiety. Motor traffic is responsible for a rise in air particulate concentrations and their associated repercussions – in fact, recent studies show that children attending schools in or near pollution hotspots are far more likely to develop respiratory conditions and illnesses.
Earlier this year, the National Statistics Office reported that some 47 newly registered vehicles hit the roads every day. So it is clear that a change in attitude is required if we are to decelerate the damage that traffic is inflicting on public health, infrastructure and the environment.
Now, in collaboration with Transport Malta, the GoTo car-sharing scheme could help to trigger that seismic shift from complete reliance on privately owned cars to a cleaner, healthier network of mixed mode transport.
Making travel cleaner
The key concept at play here is mixed mode or intermodal commuting. This means that instead of relying on a single form of transport (in most cases, a car you own) to get you from point A to point B, a combination of two or more means is used instead.
These modes include walking, cycling, public transport, ferries, hired vehicles, shared cars and privately owned cars. By ensuring that a significant portion of a journey is made using cleaner modes of transport, the overall impact of that journey is lowered.
How car sharing helps
The idea of car sharing is simple. Instead of owning a car outright, a person essentially rents a vehicle as and when s/he needs it. Recurring costs such as insurance, fuel and regular maintenance are borne by the operator and not the customer.
Given that most cars spend the majority of the day parked in one location, usually outside the workplace or home, this model means that users only pay for a car when they are actually driving it and not when it is in a hard-won parking spot.
Car sharing in any form can help to reduce traffic in the long-term as it offers users an alternative to car ownership and encourages some outside the box thinking about transport. Instead of immediately picking up the car keys, users will be more likely to think about how their journey could be faster and/or cheaper if they opt for mixed transport.
How GoTo car sharing works
In a collaborative effort with Transport Malta, GoTo car sharing is already changing the way people get around the Maltese Islands, which helps the environment and improved public health at the same time.
The scheme is simple. At any time of the day or night, a GoTo member can fire up the GoTo app and locate the nearest GoTo car. There are 150 of these in circulation at the moment, parked in electric charging bays and parking spots across Malta and Gozo. Once you have found a car nearby, the app allows you to unlock the car doors and get going!
Users are charged a flat rate of €0.28 per minute of use along with a €7 monthly membership fee, which means no hidden costs, no worrying about the Valletta CVA system and no having to refuel before returning the car. Once at their destination, the user then locks the car using the app and the transaction is complete.
Reserved parking bays can be found all around Malta and Gozo, including several in the Sliema, Valletta, San Gwann and Msida areas. GoTo drivers can make use of the reserved GoTo parking spaces, which means there is no need to worry about finding a parking spot – it’s there waiting for you! There are already an incredible 450 parking spots reserved exclusively for GoTo users.
The aim of this initiative is to show motorists that there are other ways of getting around conveniently and on time, without having to own a car. Car sharing distributes the costs and the benefits of car use between a higher number of people, making it cheaper to rent a car for a short spell than it is to be financially responsible for the upkeep of a car. So why not try it today? For more information and to apply, please visit www.goto.com.mt