KAMPALA – Five years ago, Uber hit the streets of Kampala and since then has provided a solution for thousands of residents to get a ride at the push of a button and navigate their city in a safe and reliable way.
Adding to the mission of transportation for all, Uber has introduced three unique travel options in Kampala since its launch in 2016. These include the popular UberX, and two years later, Uber localised its product offering to roll out UberBODA.
To offer more than just mobility, Uber Connect was launched which is a cost-effective, on-demand delivery solution that allows Ugandans to send packages to their friends and families through the Uber app.
Brian Njao, Head of Uber in East Africa explains, “Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic in the last year, Uber is committed to keeping riders moving and drivers earning and we continue to unlock opportunities through the Uber platform in Uganda. It has been an exciting journey over the past five years.”
To ensure that anyone can request a ride, Uber Lite was introduced in 2019, a light version of the rider app that has been built to work in areas with low connectivity, with any Android devices while saving storage space and data.
Improving safety in communities
From improving access to transportation, Uber has also introduced new safety tools at users fingertips such as the Safety Toolkit. This innovative feature includes access to an in-app emergency button that connects the driver or rider to third-party security or medical assistance and Trusted Contacts that allow riders to share their trip status with up to five selected contacts.
Uber has further developed safety mechanisms in response to COVID-19, including a pre-trip safety checklist, world-first mask recognition technology and financial assistance to drivers who had been placed on quarantine by a medical professional.
Since launch, Uber has provided earnings opportunity for over *1 000 driver-partners. At a time when we need more jobs, not fewer, we believe Uber and other platforms can be a bridge to sustainable economic recovery by providing a flexible and independent earnings avenue for Ugandans.
Reflecting on the past five years in Uganda, Brian Njao adds: “It has been an exciting ride in Uganda and we look forward to continuing to provide a platform for city residents to move from one place to another. From heartwarming stories of people being reunited, giving drivers additional opportunities to earn and even having babies in Ubers, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the incredible riders, drivers and cities we serve.”