Mobile taxi company Uber is spreading its tentacles across the continent, with Abuja and Mombasa becoming the latest African cities where the company has introduced its service.
With the two additions, Uber’s service is now available in 11 African cities.
The US-based company is offering Uber app users in Abuja promotional free rides. According to Uber, the company is offering customers six days worth of free rides but the rides are only free as long as they’re under N3000 ($15). The free rides are available from today, 23 March 2016 at 07:00 until Monday, 28 March 2016 at 00:00.
— Uber Nigeria (@UberNigeria) March 23, 2016
Uber allows clients with a smartphone to submit a trip request, which is routed to Uber drivers in close proximity to the client. The Uber driver then use their own car to provide the service and the client pays via their mobile phone.
Since its inception, the service has caused debate in some of the cities where it operates over pricing issues and the condition of the cars and ability of the drivers.
Recently, the company’s pricing model has come under scrutiny in Kenya following violent protests by dissatisfied Nairobi taxi drivers over Uber’s perceived uncompetitive low fares, believed to threaten the survival of other taxi operators.
While social media users have welcomed the introduction of Uber in Abuja and Mombasa, there are doubts and questions whether the service is going to be a success in Abuja.
The problem is that Abuja taxis are probably way cheaper than Uber taxis so I don't know how they will compete, price-wise.
— Eos. (@amandaRylee) March 23, 2016
I'm curious re how @Uber intends to compete with the N200 taxis in Abuja. This should be interesting.
— Kæ (@_Kaelo_) March 23, 2016
Uber in Abuja is a good thing. Regular taxis will become even cheaper.
— The DAB (@WilDeji) March 23, 2016
Source: Uber Nigeria