The University of Malta and the Vodafone Malta Foundation developed the technology for a Shared Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) Service for the UM. The Vodafone Malta Foundation part-funded the project through its Connecting for Good Programme, the aim of which was to explore innovative ways in which mobile technology can deliver social change.
Through the Shared Demand Responsive Transport Project, the University developed the system for an experimental pick and drop shared service. This will give researchers the opportunity to study and develop the services on the field. This project is seen as an opportunity for the University of Malta and the Vodafone Malta Foundation to be pro-active and deliver concrete actions in targeting one of the more pressing issues that the Islands are facing at the moment. The service is envisaged to contribute to the mix of travel options for individuals, with the ultimate objective of reducing the dependence on private car use. This will eventually contribute to lessening the problems of congestion, pollution and parking, whilst contributing to a better quality of life.
The Institute for Climate Change and Sustainable Development coordinated this project, led by Professor Maria Attard (Director of the Institute and Head of Department of Geography) and Professor Adrian Muscat (faculty member of the Department of Communications & Computer Engineering within the Faculty of ICT). They were supported by Mr Michael Camilleri and Ms Nicolette Formosa.
The prototype technological development foreseen to support such services were studied and tested around the University of Malta Msida Campus, where the scale and geographic concentration of demand for such services is high. It was also an aim of the study to showcase the University as both an initiator and eventually a best practice example for others to follow. The work on this project was built on the existing efforts of the Green Travel Plan which the University supports.
As part of the project, the Institute developed a preliminary data collection app (vjaġġ) to help model user travel demands.