The ToyotaGo project launched to ensure sustainable on-demand transport mobility in rural areas is being discontinued.
The project was launched in the municipality of Kocevje in April 2022, but close to one year on the municipality said it had decided not to continue the project to the same extent due to the high costs, which are entirely shouldered by the municipality.
"The goals of reaching not only the elderly but also younger users, parents who used the transport for their children's mobility and daily migrants, have been achieved,” said mayor of Kocevje Vladimir Prebilic.
However, Prebilic added: “The [lack of] economies of scale, the demographic structure of the population and the type of settlement raise the cost of transportation per passenger to several tens of times that in an urban environment, which makes it impossible for us to continue providing the service without state subsidies.”
A statement from the municipality said that the decision to end the project had not been an easy one due to its popularity among residents.
Toyota, in co-operation with project partners Kocevje municipality and Sopotniki Institute, developed the ToyotaGo application to enable safe, reliable and easy on-demand transport.
The company plans to continue with the service in other areas of Slovenia.
"Kocevje was a mobility laboratory for one year, which enabled us to develop and gain invaluable experience in the field of getting to know and introducing new mobility habits. Despite the fact that we are concluding the implementation of ToyotaGO, we believe that we have laid a solid foundation for the development of such services in the future and a tool for providing above-standard services to the residents of the periphery and thereby revitalising and rejuvenating the countryside," said Toyota Slovenia director Gregor Mauko.