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Uber expands to five additional towns in growth drive

by Val Lukhanyu
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Uber has expanded to five additional towns including Kisumu, Eldoret, Naivasha, Elementita and Gilgil as the company steps up its growth amid the growing competition in the country.

Uber is expanding to five additional towns in Kenya in a bid to push its growth and step up its growth in the country.  including Kisumu as the company steps up its growth amid increased competition.

Uber has a presence in Nairobi, Thika, and Mombasa and made an entry into Nakuru in 2021 where taxi-hailing services are dominated by local operators. The five additional towns include Kisumu, Eldoret, Elementaita, Naivasha and Gilgil.

Uber joins its rivals Bolt and Little who have had operations in the lakeside city in 2017 and 2019. Bolt for instance is the largest ride-hailing service provider in terms of towns with coverage in 16 towns that include Kakamega, Nakuru, Naivasha, Eldoret, Kitale, Embu, Nyeri, Meru, Embu, Kisumu, Karatina, Kilifi and Malindi while Little also has operations in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Nyeri.

In Kisumu, Uber will be targeting demand arising from the metropolis’ city status, and available infrastructure including an airport and hospitality facilities that fuel both business and leisure travel in the city.

“We have soft-launched the cities and we will be going as the product becomes more developed. We see the potential in these cities and are confident that they will grow and become very reliable for us,” said Uber head of East Africa, Imran Manji.

Uber envisions lower than those charged in Nairobi with the availability of service depending on demand and cost of living within the new towns. In the current cities of operation, the low-priced Uber Chap Chap charges a minimum fare of Ksh 150 and Sh25 per kilometre and the more expensive X charges a minimum fare of Sh200 and Sh38 per kilometre.  the low-priced and almost default service for most Kenyans, Uber Chap Chap charges a minimum fare of Sh150 and Sh25 per kilometre.

“Rates will depend on cities. Each city will be managed separately because the cost of living and affordability is different. Not all products available in Nairobi will be found in those cities. For example, you may find Uber X in one city and not in another city. It will also depend on vehicles the drivers have,” Mr Manji.

The mounting competition in the digital ride-hailing industry has seen many operators expand their geographical reach across the country while adding new transport services on their platforms including Boda Boda rides and Tuk-Tuk.

Uber, Bolt and Little recently introduced electric tuk-tuks and electric motorcycles in a bid to reduce carbon emissions amid a widening offering of greener transport needs in the country.

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