Uber has launched an intercity bus service in Egypt to connect cities together, the global ride-hailing company announced in a statement today to MENAbytes. The US company already operates an intracity bus-hailing service in Egypt which was launched in December 2018. Egypt was the first country for Uber to launch Uber Bus (intracity) and with the launch of intercity bus service, Uber has once again chosen the Arab nation to be the testbed for its service.
“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,” said Uber in a statement.
The service that is available through Uber’s main app (under Bus routes in menu bar) is launching with roundtrip routes between Cairo and Alexandria. The routes have up to 9 pick up and drop off points across the two governorates. The intercity bus service operates 7 days a week with 8 journeys per day, with the fare for these trips according to Uber’s website set at EGP 90 ($5.6).
Uber said that the company plans to launch the service in other governorates across Egypt in the coming months.
Ahmed Khalil, General Manager of Uber Egypt, said, “We are honored 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.”
“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 broaden our product range to provide convenient transportation solutions within and across cities,” he added.
The statement by Uber explained that the intercity buses will follow Covid-19 safety measures which include riders and drivers wearing face masks during trips, reduction of maximum seating capacity to encourage physical distancing between riders and installation of sanitizer dispensers on in all the buses.
There are different similar app-based intercity bus services operating in Egypt but with Uber’s large userbase in the country and its service being available through its main app, it should be able to win customers rather easily.
Uber’s Middle Eastern subsidiary Careem had recently shut down its mass transportation (intracity bus) service Careem Bus which was operation across different cities of Egypt and some other markets. The service was shut down to focus on other verticals.