Uber explains the progress made so far in Uganda

A while back Uber made one year in Uganda having launched here in June last year. In hindsight, Uber launched here with its UberX product in Kampala and Entebbe raising censoring questions and putting a stop to speculation of when they will launch here.

However, a lot has happened in that one year or so and we are here to update you on the progress garnered by Uber so far, not just for that one year but also for the other months that precede it and what Uber holds for the future.

In what was dubbed as a media roundtable, Ugandan media  got an opportunity to talk and ask all questions Uber.

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On their part, they have made strides in Uganda especially during the last half leading to their 1st year anniversary than they did when they launched a year ago.

Uber has created over 1,000 economic opportunities, call them jobs in Uganda and registered over 48,000 riders. Of these, 38,000 are unique monthly users meaning this total at least use the app every month. Majority of the Uber drivers are 9 – 5 Jobbers according to statistic and of these, 14% are women while 8 are disabled.

It also turns out that malls, hotels, eateries and bars see the most traffic on the Uber platform and these include Acacia Mall, Village Mall Bugolobi, Kampala Serena, Sheraton Kampala, Panamera Bar, Bubbles O’Riellys among others and the peak traffic hour is 12:00 AM in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays. We recently shared similar statistic here.

Uber also enjoys partnerships with other business just so its partners and riders could have a smooth experience and these included petrol stations to subsidize its drivers fuel needs, Insurance firms to insure the riders safety, telcos , Device Manufacturers among others.

Asked about other pressing issues like rider safety, privacy, tax compliance, payment modes, Janet Kemboi Uber’s Communications Manager for East Africa responded as the app having in-app measure to address the above concerns.

Riders can report anything from bad driving, harassment or any misconduct using this feature and also the drivers are well vetted before joining the platform.

She responded to the payment modes query and addressed Uber as being non-discriminatory in that they accept all payment modes that is Cards and Cash. Drivers found in breach of this are penalized for their actions.

She also addressed the issue of tax compliance as Uber being compliant with concerned parties manning transportation, taxation, labor among others locally while the contractual obligations between Uber and its driver partners are addressed by Uber BV in the Netherlands, for which they comply too. She stressed that Uber drivers are actually contractors and not employees as has been heard in various circles. In other words, they’re their own bosses and can choose when to and not to use the platform amongst other things.

Uber also chanced on taking us through their future vision of greener cities and driverless covers through the use of its services/products. Cited here was UberPool that has reduced congestion and traffic in US cities like San Francisco and driveless cars.

Uber is also looking at possibilities of expanding beyond Kampala and Entebbe but first they have  to optimize their services where they are operational.