Careem to launch Saudi bus service after Cairo debut

Ride-hailing app Careem has launched a new bus service in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the company announced on Monday.

Careem Bus is a separate app that allows users to choose their pick-up and drop-off locations, after which they will have the option of picking the best that best suits their time.

The app will also allow users to track their bus in the same way that the ride-hailing app tracks cars, with fares set at a fixed rate that is between 60 and 70 percent cheaper than the car service.

Additionally, the app will ensure that every passenger is guaranteed a seat on the bus. The service is currently cash only, but Careem said that passengers will “soon” be able to pay via the Careem wallet on the app.

“Customers now expect the same high-tech experience across all products and services they engage with. Why shouldn’t taking a bus be as seamless as ride hailing a car?” said Hadeer Shalaby, the director of Careem Bus.

Shalaby added that research conducted by Careem found that 40 percent of Egypt’s population is not adequately served by a transportation.

In the greater Cairo area, which currently has a population of 22.9 million, the World Bank estimates that the annual costs of congestion may be as high as $8 billion, with around 50 hours per person every month spent in traffic and 60 percent of trips only having one passenger per vehicle.

“The launch of Careem Bus means that transport options and mobility has just improved for millions of people, as well as decreasing congestion and pollution in the city,” he said. “Cairo is just the start.”

Initially, Careem Bus will begin operations on 13-seat air conditions buses, with bus stops to be marked at city landmarks. The service will look to improve and add to its offerings based on customer feedback.

In the near future, Careem plans to expand the service to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.