Pakistan is the 69th country where Uber has launched its services as part of a $250 million drive into Asia
LAHORE – World’s most popular taxi-hailing app Uber has launched their services in Pakistan. Uber has initially been launched in Lahore and will later extend its services in Islamabad and Karachi.
“Lahore is our first city globally to have launched cash right from the beginning,” said Shaden Abdellatif, an Uber spokeswoman for the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan.
Pakistan is the 69th country around the world where Uber has launched its service.
“We’re extremely excited to be here, there’s huge potential in this market and people have welcomed us with open arms,” says Loic Amado, Uber’s International Launcher for Middle East & Pakistan.
“Twenty per cent of all e-commerce transactions happen in Lahore, which is why we’re here first. We’re looking forward to filling a gap in the existing transportation network.”
Chairman Punjab IT Board (PITB) Dr Umar Saif inaugurated the service at the Arfa Software Technology Park here. “Uber will help thousands of Lahorites every day to move around their city on affordable, reliable and safe rides at a single click at their mobile phone,” he said.
Uber said the process to get approval from Pakistani authorities was smooth. “We have been welcomed with open arms by the government of Punjab and the regulators in Lahore, who see the need for Uber,” said Shaden Abdellatif, a spokeswoman for the company.
Uber’s Pakistan launch is part of a $250 million drive into central Asia, Uber’s head of communications for the region told Reuters. The US-based taxi-hailing is doubling down in those regions as it struggles to find solid footing in China.
Driver selection process of Uber
All drivers shall be subjected to thorough background and verification checks, including car registration, police verification, and driving licenses. They’ll also have to attend a mandatory sexual harassment seminar.
Loic is quick to drive home the point that they’re assessing both passenger and driver security very seriously.
“We’re in conversation with local law enforcement agencies and are open to developing procedures, so that if something happens they can be involved immediately. We’ve developed something similar in India as well by working with local governments,” he affirms.
How will you pay Uber?
While the smartphone penetration in the city is high, credit card usage is low. That’s why Uber will accept both cash and card payments. Cash is also accepted for rides in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and India. Uber also plans to integrate mobile payments and mobile wallets, but these haven’t been finalised yet.
Uber’s Rates in Pakistan
Uber has set standard charges for its services, following that pattern the customers have to pay for the ride they get.
Base Fare: Rs. 100
Minimum Fare: Rs. 150
Cancellation: Rs. 150
Per Kilometer : Rs. 13.7
Per minute charges: Rs. 3.7
Uber is currently offering its UberGo vehicles in Pakistan, that include: Suzuki Swifts, Toyota Vitz, Toyota Corollas, Honda Civics or equivalent.