Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Uber taxi operations start to take hold in Dar es Salaam


By Gadiosa Lamtey @gadiosa2 glamtey@tz.nationmedia.com

        Dar es Salaam. A passenger transport company, Uber-Tanzania, has managed to boost the income for over 1,000 taxi drivers in the country by providing them with permanent and part-time jobs.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the company’s head of communications for the East African region, Ms Janet Kemboi, told journalists that more than 30,000 Dar es Salaam residents and visitors to the city are currently able to access the taxi transport services that are available through the use of state-of-the-art mobile phone application.

“This business is growing very fast in Dar es Salaam, and we have received a very positive response so far. We project that, in a few years to come, Dar will be like Nairobi in the Uber business. There are already more than 5,000 registered Uber drivers in that Kenyan capital,” she confidently stated.

Noting that Uber taxi “users can access the service anywhere in the world,” Ms Kemboi said that this was how and why “over 60 foreigners have managed to use it while they were in Dar es Salaam.”

Uber-Tanzania is also thinking of establishing its business in other Tanzanian metropolises, including Arusha, after the Dar es Salaam business stabilizes and demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that it is worth it.

Uber is already doing reasonable well in Kenya and Uganda, where the business is growing rapidly. In fact, “the company is planning to introduce a new food delivery application in Kenya next year,” she said.

The company also looks forward to joining financial institutions, including banks, in efforts to get then to finance through loans the purchasing of cars by prospective ‘Uber’ operators.

“In Kenya we have been quite successful in this, as some 300 Uber drivers have been able to get loans with which they bought cars for Uber services.” The Uber country manager in Tanzania, Alfred Msemo, told The Citizen that Uber transport is safe and secure as users only need a smartphone to ‘hail’ an Uber taxi. In any case, plans are already under way to install the application for persons who do not own an analogue phone.

Mr Msemo also noted that a recent market survey which was conducted by the company recently established that 91 per cent of the drivers who were polled unequivocally stated that the Uber system is helping them to earn more income.

The Uber application is already operating in 80 countries of the world – 11 of them in Africa.