Thika Becomes The 3rd Uber Town in Kenya, 16th In Africa.


Uber this week launched the taxi service in Thika making Thika the 3rd Kenyan town after Nairobi and Mombasa to join a growing list of smart transportation hubs on the continent with the launch of online taxi hailing app, Uber. It also becomes the 16th city in Africa for Uber launch in after Abuja, Accra, Alexandria, Cairo, Cape Town, Casablanca, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Johannesburg , Pretoria, Kampala, Lagos, Mombasa, Nairobi and Port Elizabeth.

To kick of the launch, Uber is offering a 20% discount on rides to and from Thika town until midnight Sunday July 3, 2016 using the promo code THIKA20.

This comes as the company faces stiff competition from Little Cab, an app offering a similar service in Kenya. Little Cab, backed by telecommunications firm Safaricom and developed by local software firm Craft Silicon absorbed most of the drivers previously with Easy Taxi when it closed its Africa operations.

Little Cab has set lower tariffs without a base charge or price surge at peak hours or heavy traffic jams, at Sh55 per kilometre and Sh.4 per minute.

With Uber charging Sh60 per kilometre and Sh.4 per minute and a base fare of Sh100, this is likely to trigger price wars once Little Cab is launched in July 2016.

In May 2016, Uber partnered with Sidian Bank to launch a Vehicle Solutions Programme valued at $100 million in Kenya to give investors and driver-partners affordable access to finance to start and grow their Uber-based businesses.

Uber launched in Kenya in January last year with Nairobi being its first port of call. They then launched in Mombasa in March this year.

How it works

Registration
Download the free application for Android, iPhone, Blackberry 7 or Windows Phone from their respective stores and then register on the app or register on the web at uber.com/go.

While registering choose the cash payment option or credit card option (if you have one).

Pricing

Price calculation: Base Ksh. 80 + Ksh. 5 per minute + Ksh. 50 per kilometer
Cancellation fee: Ksh. 200
Minimum Fare: Ksh. 250

Previously, Uber had announced that everyone who uses Uber in Nairobi will be able to use the cash option when paying for the service. The cash option was introduced in Nairobi on June 4th and was available to a little over 50% of Uber users in Kenya.

Additionally, news users in Nairobi will now not be required to have a credit card in order to register for the service. Those that don’t have credit cards will just need to choose the cash payment option. A valid email address and a mobile number will still be required.

It is however unclear how old users who have debts on their Uber accounts and are unable to pay because of lack of credit cards will be able to clear them. The cash option was first introduced in Nairobi and Hyderabad and it has now been rolled out in five other cities in India.
 
These new developments will definitely have a positive impact on their business here and drive up Uber signups and use in Kenya which had slowed down due to the requirement of credit cards for signups.

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