When Uber announced its long due arrival into Pakistan in March last year, it didn’t really need to introduce itself to the locals. The word Uber has become a synonym for hailing a ride in many of the 500 cities it operates in worldwide. There’s also the fact that it has raised a cool $4.6 billion in the last year alone. Valued at over $62.5 billion, it’s the most recognizable ‘unicorn’ in the world.
So how has Uber fared in Pakistan since it launched in Lahore last year? Let’s find out.
As of December, 2016, the company works with more than 6000 drivers who give rides to over 235,000 riders every month. Some other stats include the fact that 87% of riders have to wait less than 10 minutes to find an Uber. The most popular time? 8.00 p.m, when all the food lovers and weary professionals emerge after recovering from their day at the office.
It’s important to note that Uber has provided a very respectable way for people to earn a living. Times are tough and that’s illustrated by a staggering 75% of Uber drivers who work with the platform to supplement their primary paychecks.
Here’s a handy roundup of what Uber was up to each month since it debuted in Pakistan.
- Uber launches in Pakistan, Lahore is one of the first Uber cities globally to launch with the option to pay with cash – in response to the demands of the market. Uber also partners with Rabbt to provide drivers with anti-sexual harassment training as part of their on boarding.
- Uber Pakistan and the PTIB sign a milestone MoU committed to developing technology to bring additional safety, and convenience for Lahoris, alongside creating more economic opportunities for individuals, small and medium enterprises.
- Uber launches uberGO in Karachi and signs MoU with the Sindh Government and Ministry of Transport to work together in bringing technology into the transport space. The MoU is the first of its kind for Uber in MENA and Pakistan. Mahira Khan is rider zero for the city. Like Lahore, all drivers must go through mandatory anti-sexual harassment training.
- Uber launches the first “Uber AUTO” in Lahore with a base fare of Rs.45 and Rs.4/km – making Uber technology more available to riders and drivers throughout the city.
- Uber Pakistan and Bank of Punjab sign a milestone MoU to provide economic opportunity to Apna Rozgar Scheme customers through the Uber technology.Over 50,000 individuals, currently taking part in this scheme, will be introduced to the Uber platform and will have the ability to benefit from the flexibility, additional income and entrepreneurial opportunity that be can provided through work on the Uber technology.
- Uber AUTO also comes to Karachi in November and is met with overwhelmingly positive demand from both rickshaw drivers and riders.
- Sindh Government issues first round of ridesharing route permits to Uber drivers.
What’s great about apps like Uber is the way they reveal small details about our transportation habits. New Year’s was a perfect example of that. Uber provided some fun facts about riders in Lahore and Karachi on New Year’s Eve.
In Lahore, one party animal took 15 (!!!) rides throughout the evening. 184 people almost started off the New Year on the wrong foot and arrived just 9 minutes before the fireworks started. 176 people used the ‘Share Status’ button to assure their families and friends that were, indeed, on their way. The most impressive fact of all was that 91% of rides in Lahore and 96% of the rides in Karachi were at normal fare. Despite how busy that time of the year gets, surge pricing was applied for a fraction of riders.
It is safe to say that Uber has adapted well to the Pakistani market with their cash payment options, special attention to safety features, anti-sexual harassment trainings and we hope that they continue to take such initiatives in our country not only for their growth but for the facilitation of masses as well.
To cap it off, it’s been a great year for riders and Uber alike. The company has got big plans for Pakistan and we can’t wait to see what 2017 brings us.