Africa
Uber announces new minibus service in Egypt's overcrowded capital
Last Updated: 2018-12-06 14:35 | Xinhua
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Ridesharing giant Uber announced a new service called "Uber Bus" to provide shared microbus rides in overcrowded Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, Uber chief revealed in a press conference near the world famous Pyramids of Giza on Tuesday.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on his first visit to Egypt that he was proud to announce Cairo as "the first city globally to be rolling out Uber Bus."

Uber chief explained that his company seeks to grow its global number of users from 100 million to 1 billion, stressing that the new Uber Bus service was part of the plan.

Egypt's Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr, who joined the press conference and the launching ceremony, expressed her ministry's support for the new Uber service.

"Uber investments prove the attractiveness of the investment environment in Egypt," she told the attendees, adding that Uber provides a good service for citizens at an affordable price and contributes to including "workers of the informal economy in the formal one."

The 12-passenger minibuses, a basic affordable means of transport in Egypt that serve millions of citizens, are notorious in Cairo with their mostly irrational, speeding drivers who have less respect for traffic rules and passengers' rights.

Uber and Careem, two ridesharing giants operating regionally and internationally, have gained popularity in Egypt over the past few years, appealing to customers who complain about alleged cheating and misbehavior of traditional taxi drivers, such as refusing to use the meters or tampering with them.

In March, an administrative court in Cairo ruled to ban the taxi services of the two companies and stop their online applications, but an order issued by a Cairo court of urgent matters later in April suspended the former ruling and allowed Uber and Careem to continue operation until their appeal is determined by the Higher Administrative Court.

After several delays, the Higher Administrative Court is set to decide on the appeal of Uber and Careem against their suspension in Egypt on next Jan. 26.

The two companies have recently introduced ridesharing motorbikes and three-wheeled motorized rickshaws, known as "tuk-tuks", as new services in some areas in the most populous Arab country.

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