Ride-hailing company, Uber has launched an intercity bus service in Egypt that is accessible through its mobile app. Making this announcement in a statement, Uber confirmed that Egypt is the first market for its intercity bus service.
This development is coming on the backdrop of connecting cities in the country with the Uber App. The bus service will launch with roundtrip routes between Cairo and Alexandria, with plans to expand to the rest of the country over the coming months.
The General Manager of Uber Egypt, Ahmed Khalil, said the ride-hailing company is pleased to be able to overcome the Covid-19 situation in Egypt and indeed the world to launch a new service.
Egypt has the second-highest Covid-19 infection rate in Africa, behind South Africa.
“Egypt is an innovation hub and a fantastic environment for testing new products,” Ahmed Khalil says. “By leveraging Uber’s technology, the new intercity service will introduce a convenient means of transporting users between governorates.
“As we continue to invest in the Egyptian market, we remain committed to broadening our product range to provide convenient transportation solutions within and across cities.”
How the Uber intercity bus service works
With the aim of easing traffic across Egypt’s cities, the Uber intercity bus service operates seven days a week with eight journeys per day. The fare for these trips, according to Uber’s website, is set at EGP 90 ($5.6). Riders can also pre-book their trips through the app.
The route provides up to nine pick-up and drop-off points across Cairo and Alexandria. The service is available on the Uber app under ‘Bus routes’ in the menu bar, or when selecting the trip destination. Review your fare, select your preferred pick-up timing, and then tap request. Wait a few minutes to see your trip details, you will see the information about your trip in the app. You can track the bus on the way to your pick-up spot.
Make sure you arrive at your pick-up spot before the bus because the bus only waits 2 minutes at the spot. Show your ticket to your driver, you can pay with cash or through the app.
Uber had launched an intracity bus service
This intercity service is an extension of Uber’s current intracity service that provides daily commuting within Cairo, which was launched in December 2018. The intracity service was in response to President El-Sisi’s request for an affordable mass transportation service.
The announcement came as competition for bus-booking services heats up across the Egyptian capital. With traffic-clogged roads and badly-maintained bus and train services that experience crashes, the company’s rivals had all looked into creating cheaper and more reliable alternatives to public transportation.
Uber is in for a competition
In a bid to manage the ravaging effect of the coronavirus pandemic, Uber has laid off more than 3,000 of its workforce and closed down 45 offices to save up to $1 billion in the company’s fixed cost.
Even though it has a large userbase in Egypt and its service is available through its main app, it is in for competition as there are other app-based bus services operating in Egypt. One of those bus services is ‘Dubci Smart Transport’, which was launched in July 2019.
Dubci is a mobile application that allows users to book private cars, buses, yachts, helicopters, and motorbikes. The company aimed to carry out one million trips during its first day. The company has a lot of influence across the Egyptian capital city of Cairo as well as the Red Sea coastal cities of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh.
Dubci’s establishment came in the wake of alleged disputes between the Egyptian intelligence services and Uber over the American company’s refusal to hand over data of its customers.
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