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Uber will be officially launching in East London with uberGO, making it the sixth city for Uber across South Africa as they celebrate six years.  With this launch, Uber hopes to provide locals and visitors to the city with the technology that allows them to move efficiently and affordable around the city while providing riders and drivers with innovative features which raises the bar on safety.

More economic opportunities for locals

Most importantly, with this launch, locals who are looking for more flexible opportunities, whether it be full-time or part-time, can now use the Uber app to increase their earning opportunities, while becoming their own boss.

Uber is calling all existing transport operators to sign up with Uber via uber.com or they can visit Uber’s GreenLight Hub from Monday to Friday 9AM to 4PM,  and this Saturday (19 October 2019) at the dedicated support centre for drivers on Hamilton Club, 1 Clevedon Road, East London. All drivers who want to use the Uber app need to have a Professional Drivers Permit (PDP), vehicle roadworthy certificate, and they will have to undergo a background screening.           

Speaking on the launch, Uber’s country manager for South Africa, Nduduzo Nyanda explains, “In the last year, we have seen the Uber app opened over 100 000 times in East London, which is a clear indication that there is a high demand to use the app. The way people move and work in their cities are changing, and we see positive regulatory momentum for ride-sharing across South Africa. We are partnering with cities throughout South Africa to address their growing transportation needs and to shape the future of urban mobility together. Thanks to these efforts, we are excited to be launching in East London.”

The advantages of Uber at a glance

Riders and drivers will also benefit from Uber’s technology, as it is possible to focus on the safety of riders and drivers before, during, and after every trip. Each trip is GPS tracked, all riders and drivers have access to an in-app emergency button, connecting users to a private security response for any emergency situation during a trip, and can share their trip status with friends and family for peace of mind.

Riders will also be able to see their driver-partners details, such as their name, photo, and license plate number.  A Safety Toolkit will also be available through the app which provides features such as a Safety Centre and Trusted Contacts for riders and a driver and rider emergency button which connects them directly to private security response when needed. 

In addition, riders and drivers will benefit from Injury Protection provided by Chubb, a global insurance leader, through their South African subsidiary, Chubb Insurance South Africa Limited, to ensure they have more peace of mind when using Uber.

All drivers who want to use the Uber app need to ensure they have followed all the necessary steps required, as well as undergo a thorough background screening before they can use the Uber app.

Buffalo City Municipality Development Agency added that “We are excited to welcome Uber to our city and are thrilled that our citizens will benefit as we become one of the many smart cities in South Africa that will now have access to Uber’s tools and technology that can help improve the first- and last-mile journeys of passengers.”

How to get a ride?

To request a ride with UberGO, users must download the free application for Android, and iPhone or register for Uber at www.uber.com. Riders then simply need to open the Uber app and select UberGO UberGO has a base fare of R4.25, minimum fare of R20, per minute fare of R0.60 and R6 per KM.  

At this time, Uber ride requests will only be available in the main city and parts of the Buffalo City Municipality. While we build supply, demand might be high at launch so riders may not be able to get a ride immediately, we encourage riders to continue to check the app for availability.  

For those users who are cautious of data and storage on their phones, they can download Uber Lite, which is a light version of the rider app that works on any Android phone and has been built to work in low connectivity and  while saving storage space and data.