Careem has launched its new service, Careem Bus, with Cairo as the first city of operations.
The mid-priced bus service is aimed at commuters and the launch comes as part of Careem’s commitment to solving transportation issues, improving mobility and creating jobs.
Careem Bus is a separate app from the ride-hailing product and is available for download on iOS and Android. Customers are able to choose the pick up and drop off location after which they will have the option of picking the bus that best suits their time. They will also be able to track the bus as it arrives, the same as when ordering a Careem car, and fares will be fixed at a set rate which is 60-70 percent cheaper than the Careem car service.
The fleet of busses are air conditioned and trips are booked through an app ensuring that every user is guaranteed a seat. The service is currently cash only, but soon passengers will be able to pay via the Careem wallet on the app.
Hadeer Shalaby, Director of Careem Bus, said, “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? Research conducted by Careem revealed 40 percent of the Egyptian population is not being adequately served by a transportation service that suits their needs and the situation was getting worse.
“Careem Bus will revolutionise mass transportation allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of our tech as well as reducing traffic in cities as mass shared-mobility could lead to an 80 percent reduction in the number of vehicles and CO2 emissions by 2050.”
Costs of the congestion
Greater Cairo, now a megalopolis, is home to 22.9 million people and is projected to contain 40 million by 2050.
A report from the World Bank estimates the annual costs of the congestion in Cairo to be up to $8 billion with around 50 hours per person every month spent in traffic and 60 percent of trips only having one passenger per vehicle.
Careem’s CEO and co-founder Mudassir Sheikha added: “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. Cairo is just the start. Creem’s move into mass transportation will have a huge and positive impact across the region.”
The service will initially start out with 13-seater air conditioned busses, with bus stops to be marked at city landmarks. Based on the feedback of customers, the service will look to improve and add to its offerings to provide the easiest possible transport and mobility options for people in the city.
Careem plans to expand the service to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in the near future.
Careem operates in more than 120 cities across 15 countries and has created more than one million job opportunities in the region.