Six years ago, Uber hit the streets of South Africa and is now moving over one million *active riders across six cities. What started as a solution to get a ride at the push of a button has changed how riders navigate across their cities with the longest trip in the last year tracking at 570km which was from Port Elizabeth to East London.
Over the past year, Uber has successfully implemented notable products and safety features which include UberASSIST, which over the previous year clocked over 30,000.00 trips ensuring that senior citizens and those with access needs are catered for.
Accessibility for all: From new cities to new products
Uber has travelled 9,138,767.37KM in South Africa with just one driver contributing over 38775 trips to this figure, a true sign of how Uber has increased access to transportation for more South Africans.
Adding to the mission of transportation for all, Uber will be expanding to a new city in the coming weeks to ensure that they continue to serve more cities while introducing the option to request an Uber ride online via m.uber.com, whether that’s on an older phone with internet browsing capability, a tablet or a laptop or a desktop with internet access.
Additionally, this year Uber Lite was introduced, 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 date, to ensure that anyone can request a ride.
Improving safety in communities
From improving access to transportation, just in the last year, 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 for riders and drivers, the ability to immediately share a trip through trusted contacts and easy access to the Safety riders can easily find out more about the various safety features built into the Uber service.
Thanks to Uber’s partnership with the Department of Communications and Digital Technology, Uber was able to take a huge step forward in showing support for cities, with their very first Tech for Safety event. The event brought over hundreds of like-minded people together to discuss how technology can help solve South Africa’s daily crime challenges.
Not only has Uber helped corporates, start-ups and innovators to explore South Africa’s safety solutions through technology, but were able to mould and guide students with their first Hackathon which involved developing digital solutions to safety issues which affect communities across South Africa, where the winning group had the opportunity to present their idea at the Tech for Safety event.
Since launch, Uber has attracted over *13 000 active driver-partners, many of which say they were previously unemployed or struggle to get ahead with their finances. In turn, Uber has invested heavily in driver-partners well-being with their latest partnership with Discovery Health which offers access to quality and affordable private healthcare cover for driver-partners and their families, voluntarily. Thanks to Uber’s partnership with Old Mutual, Uber was able to re-launch the Old Mutual Financial Literacy Sessions for driver-partners at no cost to them, ensuring drivers are equipped on the importance of money management and entrepreneurial skills.
Nduduzo Nyanda, Country Manager for South Africa explains, “It has been an exciting journey over the past six years, Uber’s growth has been phenomenal. From heart-warming stories of people being reunited, and even having babies in Ubers, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the incredible riders, drivers and cities we serve.”
Without a doubt, Uber has remained committed to being a collaborative, supportive partner that gets customers to the “last mile” in more ways than one. This can be seen by the airport being one of the most visited destinations across Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. “We can also see that Uber remains vital to getting locals and tourists to key heritage and iconic spots across our main cities as Gold Reef City (Johannesburg), Waterfront Cape Wheel and Table Mountain (Cape Town) and Ushaka Marine World and the Durban North Beach, have become some of the most visited spots in the last year. Uber is at the center of establishing connections with people and cities and we cannot wait to create even more”, concludes Nyanda.