LAHORE (Staff Report) – World’s renowned smart-phone based taxi service Uber has officially started its operations in Pakistan.
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Not only this modern service is providing transport facilities to the public, but also offering thousands of job opportunities for the unemployed.
“Car owners or drivers can register with Uber and can earn more than one hundred thousand rupees,” said Zuhair Yousafi, Country Head of Uber in Pakistan, in an interview with Daily Pakistan.
Last month, Uber launched its services in the provincial capital under the Chief Minister’s “Apna Rozgar” scheme in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).
“You just have to register with Uber, and fill in the pro forma. After that, Uber will arrange driving lessons for interested applicants,” said Amna Asim, Marketing Manager.
Detailing about their recruitment process, Ms Asim said that people who want to be Uber drivers signup online. “Drivers are asked to submit their identification information, which is verified by Uber. Once everything is checked out, potential drivers are asked to provide with a character certificate, signed by police station and other authorities,” she added.
She further said that a special programme is also organised by Uber for drivers to guide them about their interaction with children and women passengers.
Each driver goes through three different training programs – including sexual harassment seminar – to properly get to know about treating customers in a professional manner.
“Once the data is collected from National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), we put it on our system so that the passengers could know who they are travelling with,” she added.
“Any person intended to hire a taxi can check the driver’s profile in our online system. This provides a sense of security and confidence among the passengers, unlike any other rickshaw or taxi service in the country.”
“Other than our official sticker, there is no specific identity mark or colour on our taxis, while the sticker holds an anti-harassment slogan,” the Uber administrators further said.
Fare and Payment
Uber says it is launching the service in Lahore with cash as well as the usual electronic payment option – one of the first Uber cities globally to do so.
After Lahore, Uber will be launched in Karachi and Islamabad during next few months.
Uber’s Basic Fare is Rs100, while cancellation charges are Rs150. Minimum fare is Rs150, while Rs13.7 per kilometer is charged from customers.
Per minute charges are Rs3.7, which means if the ride took you 30 minutes, you will be charged Rs111 (3.7 x 30=111).
Uber has started with 100 riders/cars on-board for services in Lahore. Number is obviously going to grow with time.
Uber is currently offering its UberGo vehicles in Pakistan, that include: Suzuki Swifts, Toyota Vitz, Toyota Corollas, Honda Civics or equivalent.
More luxurious cars with UberBlack and UberLUX will be offered later.
There is also an Uber Pool service that allows 2 or more people to share a single ride and split the fare.
You can go to this link and download Uber app to start using the service: https://get.uber.com/
Uber plans to provide employment opportunities to 2,000 people every month, while around 700 people have already registered with the modern taxi service and plying their vehicles on road.
The Uber officials added that there is no restriction for uneducated drivers, because the 3G and 4G internet services have made it quite easy even for illiterate people to use Uber’s app.
Feedback & Complaints
Lauding the cooperation of Punjab government especially PTIB for improving the taxi service in the province, the Uber officials said they are also trying to engage more women employers and drivers.
Under Uber’s policy, passengers can lodge their complaints and suggestions with customer support centre or even online. Interestingly, drivers are also open to give their feedback regarding the passengers so that the service is made more people-friendly.
Started from San Francisco in 2009, Uber has grown to 400 destinations in 70 countries across the world.