Living in Johannesburg, you may well be aware of how difficult it is to get around. If it is not the soul crashing traffic of the M1, it’s the soul sapping state of the public transport system. So what is a person to do?
In comes Uber. Uber is a US technology company that aims to provide a well-organized transport service and to make the city more accessible to both residents and visitors to the city via their new app. With this app, users can request a lift and arrange for pick up from any location in and around JHB by connecting with a pool of drivers. The launch of the app in Johannesburg is Uber’s, a San Francisco-based company, first entry into the African market. Johannesburg is the 40th city to get the Uber driving service.
The app is currently in the testing phase, which means vehicle availability may be limited. Uber is set on increasing the number of its drivers as the app grows in the city. Having revolutionised car transportation in big cities, Uber is using owner-driver taxis (cabs) with space for extra people to link them to individuals in need of transportation and are smart phone users. An added advantage of the system is that it can be used as an extra income stream, allowing drivers with time and space in their vehicles the benefit of earning extra money.
Currently working in partnership with chauffeur services, due to the lack of owner-driver culture in South Africa, Uber charges a base price of R 60, with an additional R 11/KM levied. There is a minimum charge of R 85. The City of Cape Town is next on the cards for Uber.