App-based taxi service Uber Tanzania officially launched in Dar es Salaam on 15th June 2016.
Dar es Salaam, with a population of over 4m becomes the 475th city in the world to offer Uber, the 14th in Africa, and the 4th in East Africa after Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, and Kampala in Uganda.
Uber Tanzania rates are set at TZS466 per km and customers can pay with mobile money transfer.
The company is also working to ensure everyone has access to a cash payment option since it is the dominant payment method in Africa.
To promote its launch, Uber is offering free rides to Tanzanians from 16th June until 19th June 2016. Users are limited to a total of 6 free rides and each trip is limited to maximum of TZS12,000.
“It made sense to launch in Dar es Salaam because of the size of its population and because people in Dar es Salaam are willing to embrace innovation and technology”, Samantha Allenberg, in charge of Uber Communications for Africa, explained to TanzaniaInvest.
The company will continue to explore other cities across Tanzania, Samantha underlined.
“Regulators have been very supportive of our technology and we believe they see the benefits Uber can bring, including safety and reliability”, Allenberg concluded.
“We are proud to launch Uber in Tanzania at such an exciting point in its growing economy. As the infrastructure of Dar es Salaam rapidly urbanizes, so the demand for affordable, easy and flexible transport grows.” Alon Lits, General Manager of Uber, said.
He added, “We have set the standard for connecting people to world-class transport, moving millions of global citizens every day through our offering of affordable and reliable rides at the touch of a button. Our service complements existing transport options, so we can all work together to reduce traffic congestion and the environmental impact of transport in the city.”
Uber develops, markets and operates its mobile app, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Uber was founded in 2009. In 2012, it started its international expansion and is now present in 73 countries.
Currently (2016), Uber has over 8m customers and more than 1m drivers.