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​OniiGo, winner of the Call for Projects for Sustainable Mobility in Rural Areas

Sustainable mobility

Smart Visions was a daylong event about the Smart City organized by ENGIE in partnership with the Agglomeration of Saint Malo Rennes Métropole, the French Tech Rennes Saint Malo and the Pays de la Gacilly Community of Communes "Grenier Digital". During the event, the winning team for the call for projects on "Sustainable Mobility in Rural Areas" was announced and had the opportunity to present their project.

The call for projects was launched jointly by the CC Pays de la Gacilly via its "Digital Attic" and ENGIE through its Terr'innove program, a protocol set up in 2013 between the Group and the CC Pays de La Gacilly to design the tangible aspects of a local energy model based on sobriety, energy efficiency, and using local resources.

OniiGo: carpooling or professional rideshare?

The OniiGo project, which won the call for projects in "Rural Mobility", was presented by its two creators, Silly Siby and Ghislain Auguet.

The two young entrepreneurs started with the very contemporary idea of car sharing, but wanted to develop the concept on a larger scale, and especially to turn it into a professional activity. Their project focuses on recruiting professional drivers with different types of vehicles, from electric cars to 9-seat vans. For this reason they prefer to define their project as a professional rideshare service.

At the heart of the system, an application allows drivers to connect with travelers who want to share trips in order to save money or the environment.
The routes available can be regular or occasional and particularly target people commuting to work from home or those taking occasional trips to the airport and transport for medical reasons or for leisure.

The incentives are first and foremost financial (the more people carpooling, the lower the fare), but they are also based on the services being offered such as access to WiFi in the vehicles or providing tablets or magazines while being driven.

The goal of OniiGo is to offer an alternative to solo driving, and in doing so to promote more sustainable mobility, reduce parking problems, consume fewer fossil fuels and emit fewer greenhouse gases and pollutants. The project also addresses mobility problems faced by people living in periurban and rural areas, who are required to use their personal vehicles because of the lack of efficient public transit.

And it is precisely because the core of their project involves employing professional drivers that OniiGo stands out from an Uber-type business model. Professional drivers are well-regulated by the DREAL (Regional Directorate of Environment, Interior and Housing) and do not compete with taxis or Uber since they only offer recurring or or pre-reserved trips.

The project goes into a testing phase in January in the area of La Gacilly, but its young leaders don’t intend to limit their ambitions to that area alone. They’re counting on the support of local communities and ENGIE to continue to develop their solution.

Source: Christine Leroy