Uber’s fleet in Pakistan has just been injected with what is perhaps the number one form of transport for a vast majority of commuters in the country: Rickshaws.
UberAuto, as it’s called, was inaugurated today in the provincial capital, with the Chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board, Dr. Umar Saif, taking the inaugural ride. Speaking at the occasion, the company’s CEO Zohair Yousafzai said that UberAuto is the answer for those passengers who cannot afford the usual rides that the company has to offer.
Rickshaws have long been a permanent fixture on Pakistan’s clogged streets. However, while each vehicle is a piece of art, the long waits associated with getting a ride dull the overall experience. UberAuto attempts to change exactly that.
Now, commuters can just use their smartphones to call an Uber rickshaw, like they would a regular Uber.
Loic Amado, Head of Expansion for Uber in Sub Saharan Africa, says UberAuto is their effort to expand the company’s consumer reach for the pakistani population, while complying with the Chief Minister’s Green Punjab Scheme.
This isn’t Uber’s first attempt at rickshaws though. The service was previously launched in neighboring India in 2015 but discontinued after only eight months. There was no official statement by the parent company to explain why the service was halted.