INTERVIEW | Johnny Tominaga: GoTo car sharing hits 12,000 users

Access over 450 shared vehicles available in Malta and Gozo and hire them direct from the street.. Register online and pre-book your car via an app. It’s this ease-of-use that has made GoTo so popular.  BusinessToday spoke to the company’s CMO, Johnny Tominaga about their plans for the future


Over 12,000 people are now signed up to GoTo, Malta’s leading car sharing service, and they have driven 1.8 million kilometres in 2019 – the company’s first full year in operation.

The service, which was launched in 2018, has also contributed to saving over 1,000 tons in CO2 emissions from being created, has contributed to less traffic on the roads, and has helped local society to move towards a more shared and balanced economy.

“Car sharing has clearly found its role in helping people in Malta to get from A to B,” says GoTo Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Johnny Tominaga.

“The last 12 months have seen the service experience excellent uptake, and each of our cars now potentially replace 16 vehicles on the roads.

2019 has certainly been an exciting year for the mobility services start-up, and Tominaga says that the team has tested, learned, failed and evolved a lot in its time so far.

It has also invested in improving its technology; implemented smarter ways of distributing its vehicles; increased the number of vehicles available; and tried to stay as close as possible to its customers.

“This has meant that we have been able to grow and establish a strong presence in the competitive mobility landscape that Malta has developed into throughout this year.

“And it has been an important year, with a number of key milestones including the launch of our service’s Basic Plan, which was key to making GoTo accessible to more customers, regardless of whether or not they need to use shared mobility regularly or simply don’t want to pay for a recurring subscription fee,” Tominaga explains.

In another milestone for the company, GoTo also launched Roundtrips, its service for pre-planned journeys.

In it, GoTo started to address multiple consumer needs, by enabling customers to start booking trips further in advance and pay per hour, which reduced the pressure for bringing the car back.

“Now, continuing to understand and address mobility needs is where we see our path for growth,” Tominaga said.

“That’s what we hope for with the launch of our scooter fleet. With scooters, our customers can ride shorter distances more freely, and take advantage of more flexible parking options.”

Of course, the launch of GoTo’s highly-successful Business Plans also helped to make the car sharing service more appealing to business customers.

To date, over 50 companies have incorporated shared mobility into their operations and offerings to employees.

“And along with all that, our technology is constantly evolving to accommodate different demands and incorporate improvements into our services,” Tominaga said.

It is no surprise that the Maltese community is starting to respond to the benefits of car sharing.

As the GoTo fleet is pooled between its users, its uptake has reduced the amount of vehicles on the road, helping to build an effective transport solution that lessens the time that cars sit idly in parking bays or garages.

That the majority of the fleet is electric also has knock-on positive effects for local air quality and the environment.

In fact, sustainability is at the very heart of the GoTo ethos and, as the company’s popularity grows, traffic will continue to reduce because there will actually be less cars on the road.

“But as we round off 2019, we are very pleased with developments so far. Among our highlights, the GoTo fleet grew from 150 vehicles to 450, and made upwards of 700 trips per day and more than 200,000 trips overall.”

Bringing the future into focus, Tominaga says that the company plans to incorporate AI into its operation more and more, and explains that developments in this area have so far been critical in helping GoTo to narrow the availability gap, while using smart metrics and outreach tools was essential to help the team reach thousands of people who became loyal advocates.

Core to everything, though, was the putting together of an outstanding team of “astonishingly talented people, who made it all possible. It’s extremely inspiring to see such passionate individuals working together and going the extra mile to make ends meet. I believe that finding the right people for the right positions was our greatest achievement this year, and we couldn’t have made it this far without each of them.”

In 2020, Tominaga believes the company will continue to see more and more people using shared mobility solutions like theirs.

“As a result, we will continue to create new ways of bringing shared mobility solutions to the population in Malta. Our vision is that if it’s worth going, the best way to get there is with GoTo. We will strive to continue to build on that in every aspect of our operation.”

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