12 August 2013
US technology company Uber has launched its mobile transport application in South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg, promising to provide an efficient transportation service and to make the city more accessible for its residents and visitors.
The app allows people to request a lift and arrange for a pick-up at any location around the city by connecting with a pool of drivers, and is currently in its testing phase in Johannesburg.
“For users, we push the limits of the transportation industry to create a simple, more efficient, and more enjoyable car service experience. For drivers, Uber is a revenue stream, allowing professional drivers to make more money by turning downtime into profits,” the company said.
Its launch marked San Francisco-based Uber’s entry into its first African city and saw South African football star Mark Fish first to use the service.
“Johannesburg has long been known as Africa’s capital city – its economic heartbeat, cultural soul and a draw to dreamers from across the continent,” Uber said.
“No matter what you call the city – Jozi, Joburg, eGoli – it’s no secret that getting around is not always pleasant; traffic on the M1 can be crushing and drivers are notoriously loose with speed limits.
“That’s part of the reason we can’t be more thrilled to be here, so that Joburg residents and visitors have a safe, reliable transportation option where they can travel in comfort and style,” the company said.
Passengers will be able to request a ride via mobile app, text message or www.uber.com, as well as track the arrival of their car.
Availability of vehicles may be limited during the testing phase, but Uber said it is working on dispatching more Uber drivers every day.
The service, which operates in 40 cities worldwide, is expected to launch in Cape Town next.