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Uber announces new minibus service in traffic-mad Egypt

AP  |  Cairo 

launched a new minibus service on Tuesday in traffic-mad Cairo, Egypt's capital and one of the US ride-sharing giant's fastest-growing markets.

A part of an aggressive push into emerging countries, the company hopes to draw millions of Egyptians into ride-sharing from chronically congested, pollution-filled urban landscapes and replace personal automobiles. It is already investing $100 million into a Mideast and customer support center in

At a conference with the famed Pyramids at Giza in the background, said the company wants to grow its global number of users from 100 million to 1 billion, and that the new Bus service was part of this plan.

"This is a product that we built for It will now be the most affordable way to use technology to get around the city," he said. "I'm especially proud to add that is the first city globally to be rolling out Uber Bus." Microbuses such as the ones Uber plans to use are notorious in Cairo.

Often over-packed, speeding and veering across traffic lanes with little concern for safety and other drivers, the vehicles are the only affordable method of travel for millions of people in Egypt, where public is massively overloaded.

The company hopes that its safety features and feedback model will improve the popular mini-bus form of transport, allowing users to select the closest, quickest routes from convenient pick up spots. It also is introducing a smaller version of its application to run on less advanced

Uber drivers have come into conflict with taxis in Egypt, as in other countries. But many in this country of 100 million people say the service provides cleaner vehicles and accountability.

also welcomes the company as it helps generate tax revenue by bringing in drivers from the informal economy. Uber says previous regulatory issues have been overcome, as have questions over data privacy raised by reports of Egypt's infamous intelligence agencies seeking continuous access to user information and locations.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 18:15 IST