Uber, the smartphone technology company that connects riders to drivers, celebrated its one year in Egypt this month by launching Alexandria, making it the second city in the country to offer the service after Cairo.
The company also announced its partnership with Bey2ollak, the cross platform mobile application for people to exchange info about traffic. This is Uber’s first API integration with a Cairo-based business, and is available across the city.
The news follows Uber’s recent announcement of investing $250 million to the MENA region, part of which is going to further development in Egypt. Cairo has been the fasting growing city for the company across Europe, Middle East & Africa, having grown 73 times since launch, and completing more than 1.5 million trips. Most recently, Uber Cairo also announced a partnership with HarassMap, an anti-sexual harassment NGO in order to train drivers against sexual harassment and create a safer environment for women to work.
Commenting on the company’s new milestone, Anthony Khoury, General Manager for Uber Cairo said: “Cairo’s support for Uber has been fantastic, as is evident in the incredible growth we are seeing across the city. On the rider side, there has been a real demand for a safe, reliable and affordable transportation option, On the driver side, we are providing tangible work opportunity and are already seeing a number of success stories. The positive response has made its way to Alexandria and we are excited to evolve our service throughout the country, including developing partnerships with locally based technologies like Bey2ollak. We are excited about the complementary role Uber will play in helping to develop the city’s transportation ecosystem will be critical.”
Bey2ollak uses the power of the crowd to create alerts about accidents, traffic jams and/or road hazards, and shares these updates with other commuters. Bey2ollak saves commuters time, optimizing the routes people take everyday.
This collaborative partnership will benefit both Uber riders and Beyollak users alike. Bey2ollak users will now be able to request their Uber directly from within the Bey2ollak app. Registered Uber users will be able to click on the icon and request an Uber ride, choose a car type, and view the estimated time of arrival directly, and seamlessly, from within the Bey2ollak app. The new feature also means that Uber partner drivers are also encouraged to use the Bey2ollak app to measure real-time roadway congestion and choose more efficient routes.
“We are excited to be Uber’ first API partnership in the country in order to help our users reach their desired destinations in the safest, most convenient way. This is the first of many development plans as we hope to replicate our success in the Egyptian market in other countries throughout the MENA region and Africa starting with KSA and Nigeria,” stated Mohamed Rafea, CEO, Bey2ollak.com
The Year in Review
The technology platform has created work opportunities for over 2000 drivers a month. Over 40% of the drivers had previously been unemployed prior to joining Uber. The number of female drivers joining the platform has also increased, having grown 10x over the course of six months.
Uber has completed more than a million trips in the year it has been in Cairo, and has seen clear trends in the way riders are moving around Cairo. The top 5 pick-up and drop-off locations include City Stars, Nile Towers, Smart Village, 26 July and Cairo Festival City. Busiest neighborhoods for Uber rides include Heliopolis, Mohandesseen, Zamalek, Maadi and New Cairo. The company’s fast growth has meant that riders only need to wait an average of 4 minutes at the time of requesting a ride.