Egypt to regulate Uber, Careem ride-hailing services

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 17 Mar 2016

Ahmed Mahmoud, 53, an Egyptian driver working for Uber Transportation Company in Egypt checks a map on his phone on February 23, 2016 in Cairo. The use of the smartphone applications has taken off in Cairo, so much so that Uber says the Egyptian capital is one of its fastest growing markets. But not everyone is happy. Taxi drivers have been protesting against them for weeks as they lose more and more clients to the rival services. / AFP / KHALED DESOUKI / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TONY GAMAL

CAIRO: Egypt said it will regulate ride-hailing services Uber and Careem after they sparked protests from taxi drivers in Cairo over allegations the smartphone applications bypass traffic regulations. 

Conventional taxi drivers are up in arms as more and more commuters opt for the two apps for rides in the Egyptian capital. 

The cab drivers protest that not only they are losing clients to Uber and Careem, but the two services use vehicles that are unregistered for ferrying commuters. 

Egypt’s cabinet said the authorities would take steps to regulate the two ride-hailing services. 

The parliamentary affairs ministry would “prepare legal amendments to regulate the applications after reviewing similar legislation in other countries,” the cabinet said, adding the changes would be presented within a month. 

Uber and Careem drivers would also “have to pay taxes” and their apps would need to establish a “suitable framework for traditional taxi drivers to join them,” the cabinet said in a statement. 

Earlier this month, Uber agreed with the Moscow government to use only officially licensed taxi drivers. 

Since its launch in San Francisco five years ago, Uber has enjoyed spectacular global growth, and is now operating in more than 60 countries. It began services in Egypt from November 2014. 

The United Arab Emirates-based Careem, which operates across 20 cities in the Middle East, has also made inroads in Egypt. — AFP

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