Ride-hailing firm Careem has launched a new bus service in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Careem Bus is a separate app that allows users to choose their pick-up and drop-off locations, following which they can pick the bus that best suits their time.
Careem Bus also allows users to track their bus in the same way that the ride-hailing app tracks its fleet. The fares are set at a fixed rate that is between 60 and 70 percent cheaper than the car service. The app also ensures that every passenger gets a seat on the bus. The service is operating cash-only currently, but Careem said the passengers will “soon” be able to pay via the wallet option on the app.
Hadeer Shalaby, director of Careem Bus said, “Customers now expect the same high-tech experience across all products and services they engage with. Why shouldn’t taking a bus be as seamless as ride-hailing a car?” He also added that research conducted by Careem found that 40 percent of Egypt’s population is not adequately served by a mode of transportation.
In the greater Cairo area which currently has a population of 22.9 million, the World Bank estimates that the annual costs of congestion could touch the $8 billion mark. On an average, time spent in traffic per month goes up to 50 hours per person, while 60 percent of trips only have one passenger per vehicle.
“The launch of Careem Bus means that transport options and mobility has just improved for millions of people, as well as decreasing congestion and pollution in the city,” said Shalaby. “Cairo is just the start.” Careem will initially begin operations on 13-seat air-conditioned buses with bus stops marked at city landmarks. The service will look to improve and add to its offerings based on customer feedback.