Uber partners with Suzuki for regional expansion

Japanese automaker, Suzuki Motor Corporation and Uber, a ride-hailing company are expected to sign a deal that will help the firm expand its budget ride-hailing service Uber Chap Chap across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The California-based firm, which is set to sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Suzuki on October 31, 2018, will roll out the service in East Africa before moving to other regions of the continent. The Uber Chap Chap service exclusively uses the fuel-efficient 800cc Suzuki Alto with a consumption rate of 25 kilometres per litre. A ride on the Suzuki Alto starts with a minimum fare of Sh100.

A statement released by Uber regarding the deal said “Africa is a priority market for both Uber and Suzuki, and this agreement will allow the companies to expand the Uber Chap Chap option across Sub-Saharan Africa to allow for thousands more economic opportunities for driver-partners and more choice for riders when it comes to affordable transportation options across Sub-Saharan Africa”.

Uber’s main competitor in Kenya, Taxify launched TaxifyGO in April, a service that saw the cost of the minimum fare for regular cabs slashed to Sh100. The service uses vehicles with 1300cc engines that are also known for fuel efficiency.

Adding to the measures recently put in place to boost safety, Uber last week introduced new security features on its app that allow riders and drivers direct access to emergency response services. The new security features will include an emergency button to trigger private security response from the firm’s third-party responders. It will also provide the opportunity for customers to have five back-up contacts, with which they will be able to share details of their trip.