Middle East ride-hailing company Careem said it has launched a bus-booking service in Egypt and will soon expand it to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Users of the Careem app can select a “bus” option as well as their pick-up and drop-off location and track the bus along dedicated routes, the Dubai-based company said in a statement.
It offers fixed-rate fares between 60 and 70 percent cheaper than those on its car service, it added. The company will use 13-seater buses at the start of operation in the country.
Communal ride-sharing options are not new in the country, where homegrown start-ups provide on-demand shuttle bus services for local commuters in Cairo. Careem’s rival Uber, too, has a significant market share in Egypt with its services.
But Careem said on Monday it hopes Cairo and the rest of Egypt will use more such solutions to ease mobility.
According to an international survey, quoted by the company, 40 percent of the Egyptian population is not being served by proper transportation that suits their need.
The launch comes more than a year after Careem invested $500,000 in Egyptian tech start-up Swvl, which offers bus-booking services on its own mobile app. Careem said it had since divested itself of that stake.
Swvl announced last month it was planning to expand to Southeast Asia after securing “tens of millions of dollars” in its latest funding round.
Careem competes with San Francisco-headquartered Uber Technologies in many major Middle East cities.
Reuters news agency reported last month that Careem has been working with investment group Jefferies as an adviser on investment options and fundraising, including a potential merger and acquisition deal in the region with Uber.