Share-a-ride app takes its war to taxis, private firms

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A vicious battle for control of the lucrative private transport business could heat up in the coming days after Uber, the share-a-ride company, takes its war to local private transporters.

Uber, which turned into a global phenomenon recently, launched in the country in January amid opposition by taxi drivers.

Also, yet another taxi app company, Maramoja Transport, launched in Nairobi recently hoping to capitalise on two of Uber’s weaknesses in the Kenyan market — resistance by commuters to board vehicles belonging to strangers, and a requirement by Uber that all its payments be made through credit cards.

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This week, Uber launched UberX in Kenya. The application will allow firms and businesses to create accounts with them that will be used to bill travel by their employees on the go from the company’s account.

Just like the Uber app introduced to Kenya two months ago, company employees will access the app using the company’s profile already created whenever they want to hail an Uber taxi. The app will show all Uber accredited cars within their vicinity and all they will be required to do is tap on the one they want to use.

The companies will then be allowed to decide the date, time and location that their employees can ride on Uber in real time. The rides will be automatically billed through a central system.

It is expected that the new app will eliminate complicated reimbursement procedures, flagging of expense reports, tedious transport approval processes or negotiations with subcontracted private transport firms and thus save companies lots of money, according to Uber.

 

Source: Daily Nation

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