Ride-hailing and delivery company, Uber, has launched its intercity bus service in Egypt, with the main goal of increasing the accessibility of cities. Egypt is the first country globally to have this service.
Uber said in a statement, “Built locally, the company chooses Egypt once again to be the first country globally to roll out a new service. The launch comes as part of Uber’s continuous efforts to adapt its technology to build a wide range of products that meet the needs of local markets. Following the Covid-19 lockdown period, Uber is excited to continue expanding its presence in Egypt with a safe and affordable ride.”
Uber Egypt General Manager, Ahmed Khalil, said, “We are honoured to witness another global product launch from Egypt, especially following the last few tense months across the country and the world. Egypt is an innovation hub and a fantastic environment for testing new products.”
He adds, “By leveraging Uber’s technology, the new intercity service will introduce a convenient setting to move 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.”
The service is one more move the company has made in a bid to tailor products and services to fit the needs of local markets.
The intercity bus service will provide round trip routes between the Egyptian cities of Alexandria and Cairo at any of the 9 designated UberBus pick-up or drop-off points in the cities. Uber plans to add more cities/towns over the next few months. The service will run 8 trips a day, all 7 days of the week.
Users intending to use the service can pre-book it via ‘Bus routes’ feature in the app’s menu bar. Users will pay US$ 5.6 per trip according to Uber’s website.
To counter the coronavirus, Uber has reduced the capacity of their buses to encourage social distancing between riders. Hand sanitizers will also be provided. In addition to this, Uber’s COVID-19 guidelines require riders and drivers to don face masks during trips.
Uber had already operating an intracity bus service in the country since 2018; even then this was the first time Uber had launched such a service globally.
This placed it in direct competition with local bus-hailing services such as Swvl.