After the launch of Turkish IT-powered taxi service and Careem, another taxi company, Uber has officially launched in Pakistan. It is a multi-national online taxi dispatch company. The service is now live in Lahore. It will also offer free rides to the citizens for the first weekend.
Uber in Lahore
Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Dr. Umar Saif commenced the service at the Arfa Technology Park, Lahore and took the first Uber ride in Pakistan.
According to the company, people of Lahore are taking a keen interest in Uber; that’s why the company plans to launch the service in Lahore first.
“Twenty percent of all e-commerce transactions happen in Lahore, which is why we’re here first. We’re looking forward to filling a gap in the existing transportation network,” said Loic Amado, international launcher at Uber. After Lahore, the service will launch in Karachi and Islamabad, and then in the rest of the country.
The company says that the minimum fare will be Rs. 100 and clients will likely be riding in Suzuki Swifts, Toyota Viz, Toyota Corollas or Honda Civics. At present, hundreds of drivers are registered. It further stated that the drivers who have signed up are experienced drivers and students as well. Females are also part of the Uber’s driving team.
Just two hours after the launch, users started Tweeting about their experiences with the ride. One user tweeted, “It’s here, and it’s not expensive either if you compare it to Rickshaw.”
Per kilometer charges of this taxi are PKR 13.7
For the first time, Uber will be accepting cash payments from its riders, because the percentage of people that use credit cards is very low in Pakistan. UberGo is the service which allows passengers of the Uber taxi to pay using cash or from the in-app credit card options.
Shaden Abdellatif, a spokeswoman for the company, said; “Lahore is our first city globally to have launched cash right from the beginning.” She also said that her company has seen a significant opportunity in Pakistan because most of the people use Rickshaw as their primary commuting service. She said It’s a huge city. There are several universities and a lot of individuals commuting every day.
Security in Uber
Drivers in the team are well educated. Anti-sexual harassment training is also given to them. The vehicles of Uber drivers carry a sticker on the back, which reads, “This driver will take action against sexual harassment.”
The smartphone application of Uber is available in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Windows Market, and BlackBerry App World. The app features a map which keeps track of the car to further maintain the safety.