CONFIRMED: You can now use Uber in Kampala
Does the header imply anything to you? If you’ve been watching keenly about Uber’s aspirations of setting foot in Uganda’s transport sector, then you finally have gotten yourself an answer. Uber is here. I repeat, the taxi hailing app is finally here. After making expansions in Kenya’s port city of Mombasa with Nairobi behind it and rumours suggesting that it will make inroads to Kampala, ahem, it’s finally here. The rumors were firmly cemented with Uber seeking to hire a logistics manager in Kampala, a position they posted on LinkedIn.
The company prides itself by connecting riders to passengers like we explained prior to this writing. The news come after checking out the Google Playstore only for recommendations to suggest that I download Uber. I didn’t hesitate given I’ve impatiently waited for the service to grace Kampala, of course after the many stories the disruptive taxi service has enjoyed elsewhere. Be sure we shall follow this up with a review of their services after we’ve checked them out.
It now joins Safeboda on my smartphone with the latter being a “boda boda” hailing service following a similar model like Uber’s. The only difference is that; it’s on two wheels while Uber uses cars to dispense it’s services after you subscribe through their app.
Mobile Money Option is paramount for their survival
I must however say that Uber won’t sail a tide free journey given the card requirement that is a must for one to activate the app, besides requiring you to use Google, Facebook or email credentials to sign-up.
It may appeal to Uber given the kind of clientele it seeks to lure might already have debit/credit cards but will deter the service’s long term growth owing to the extent at which cash or mobile money have become a convenience for many. These are amongst the challenges Uber experienced after commencing operations in Kenya and Nigeria and instead had to resort to cash, after the many complaints that followed. The result? It’s business exploded and Nairobi has been named one of its fastest growth cities.
We’re yet to confirm if Uber is available for iPhone folks and whether Kampala will embrace it open arms.