Monday, June 15, 2015

Uber is creating a new way of getting around cities

Last week I attended a media round table where we got to meet Alon Lits the Uber Durban and JHB General Manager.  He released to us some new developments from Uber and we also heard from Drivers and Partners.

Alon Lits - General Manager Durban and Johannesburg Uber RSA

Lits explained that Uber acts as lead generation software for the drivers.
He also went on to clarify that you can use debit cards to book a ride. 

He also asked people to please rate their drivers as this is very good for quality control and helps make the whole Uber experience that much better each time.

Uber started in 2010 in San Francisco and is now in over 300 cities and counting.
South Africa was the first country outside of the USA where Uber had 3 cities.

Mr Lits showed us that Durban has seen good growth for Uber.

So far 2000 jobs have been created by Uber in South Africa.
Uber has also pledged globally to create 1 million jobs for women by 2020.

Here is a sample of the arrival times for Uber from when you book a fare:
San Francisco - 2.5 min
New York - 2.7 min
Johannesburg - 4.2 min
Durban - 4.5 min

Mr Lits also shared with us some of the interesting driver experiences: 

 A man once booked an Uber because he wanted to get to hospital and he felt that Uber was faster than an ambulance
            A lawyer uses Uber to get around and at the same time he does business calls in the Uber and he bills clients for that.  So people are now using Uber as a mobile office

Mr Lits went on to inform us that at present in Durban there is a moratorium on the operating licence for Uber as the City does not exactly know what Uber is.  He went on to tell us that they continue talks with the City in the hope that some agreement can be reached.

Here are some of the latest developments from Uber and what you can expect in the future:   

You can split fares with people when you book a fare 
EasyPay Outlets are now offering a Virtual Credit Card System so people without credit cards or debit cards can now book an Uber. 
Deaf people can use an Uber and the driver will be aware of this before they are even picked up.  
Look out for UberPOOL – this is similar to a carpool whereby you join with others to go in an Uber.  Mr Lits explained that you will have the benefit of choosing from your friends for example on Facebook.  People you know, not strangers.  This is all in an effort to reduce pollution.  This will be tested in Sandton later this year. 
UberEATS – you can request and order a burger or meal on demand.  
UberHealth – this was a partnership with Discovery whereby the provided a nurse who administered Flu Vaccines to people who wanted them.  
UberRUSH  – this is a type of courier service that Uber offers.  This is found in New York at the moment.  No word if it will be rolled out elsewhere. 

The drivers explained to us that they really enjoy working with Uber. 
At the moment you can take advantage of a great special that Uber has countrywide in June.  If you book an UberX you can get quite the discount.  For example from Durban to Umhlanga it will cost you around R116 one way.

Uber has seven cities in Africa (Cape Town, Durban, Joburg, Pretoria, Cairo, Nairobi and Lagos)

To request a ride, users must download the free application for Android, iPhone, Blackberry 7, or register for Uber at

For questions visit | | 

From today you can also take advantage of this offer from Uber and Umhlanga Life.
If you are a first time user and sign up for Uber you can get your first ride free.
All you have to do is click on the link below:

Fred Felton 
Twitter @fredfelton 

No comments:

Post a Comment