Will Uber help mend wayward Ugandan taxi market?
KAMPALA, JUNE 1- Anyone who has used services of local taxi operators has experienced the unfair and endless negotiations that have to take place before a trip. Most times, taxi drivers will quote a figure way higher and not befitting of the journey.
The planned debut of Uber technologies in the Ugandan market promises to put an end to this by bringing cheap transparency to taxi fares – that is assuming our wayward local taxi cons are able to see the bigger picture.
Unlike the usual traditional taxis, the Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc’s is openly priced because it is hinged on a metering gauge that charges users for every kilometre covered as opposed to Uganda where different people pay different prices to the same area with prior price negotiations before each trip.
Uber which has established itself as a dominant taxi hailing mobile app in different countries allows for users to summon a ride on their smartphonesfrom wherever they are.
Although it, seeks to help improve Uganda’s local transportation system and also offer cheaper rates, it is not known how the local taxi operators will react to the entrance of this firm which seems to offer more appealing services to the consumers.
In some areas where the firm operates, the company has experienced revolts as customers opt for its services as opposed to the traditional services of local taxis given the price differences and Uber hopes that by enrolling some drivers on its ride hailing service, it may reduce some of these rebellions which not only taint the image of the firm but also put the lives of its potential clients at stake.It is also not known how the firm will completely address some of the glaring challenges as it seeks to expand globally.
Currently Uber is present in 400 cities worldwide and in Africa, it has a presence in Egypt (Alexandria and Cairo), South Africa (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth), Morocco (Casablanca), Nigeria (Lagos) and Kenya (Mombasa and Nairobi). It seeks to launch in Tanzania and Ghana.