By: Ahmed Allam
Cairo — Mubasher: The Dubai-based Careem is planning to invest $100 million in its bus services that will be launched in Cairo, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, Egypt’s general manager of the ride-hailing company said on Monday.
Set to be available through a dedicated app, Careem Bus, the new service will be offered through four lines for a trial in Cairo, Hadeer Shalaby told Mubasher in an interview at the company's Egypt headquarters.
Careem, Uber’s main ride-hailing app rival in the Middle East, is seeking to launch Careem Bus in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan next year after completing the pilot operation of the service in Egypt, she added.
The bus transportation service is to make a leap in the mass transportation sector on the back of contributing to reducing traffic jam by up to 70%, along with slashing energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Shalaby said.
Around 40% of Egyptians do not have a transportation service meeting their needs, she added, citing a study conducted by Careem.
The initial cost of the bus service at the first four lines amounted to EGP 25 per trip, the general manager of Careem Egypt said, noting that the ride-hailing firm does not have the buses, but they have been owned by other companies without naming them.
In August, Careem began talks with taxi drivers to work under its ride-hailing app in Cairo in a bid to soothe their outrage, but the Association for White-Taxi Drivers rejected the initiative.
In June, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi endorsed a law No. 87/2018, which regulates transportation services using information technology after the Egyptian House of Representatives’ approval.
The law allows online taxi applications, such as Uber and Careem, to operate legally across the Arab world's most populous country.
Translated by: Ahmed Shehata