Careem which is the popular Dubai based ride-sharing app has launched its bus service in Saudi Arabia and Jeddah will be its first city of operations. This news was announced on Monday.
Careem has stated that the service will currently be operated with a fleet of 20 buses with the main purpose to cater to the needs of daily commuters.
The prices per trip will range between SAR3 and SAR5 as per the route and will be 60-70 percent cheaper than the Careem car service. They will ply between 7 am and 8 pm.
Careem’s bus service will start off with 13-seater air-conditioned buses that will stop at popular landmarks in the city.
Upon launch, the three routes within Jeddah will be Tahlia Street loop, Prince Sultan Road north-south-north and Hira Street east-west-east.
As per feedback from customers, the service is looking to add to its offerings.
This bus service has a separate app other than the ride-hailing product from which it operates and can be downloaded on Android.
Passengers will be able to choose their pick up and drop off points following which they can choose the best bus timing that meets their needs. They can also track the bus on its arrival just as they could when ordering a Careem car.
Walk-on passengers will also be able to avail of the service.
As of now the service is cash only, but in a while, passengers can pay via Careem wallet on the app, or by a registered credit card, Careem has stated.
The buses happen to be provided in partnership with vendors who then employ the drivers on a monthly salary basis.
Whatever fares are collected by the Careem bus drivers go to Careem, which then pays the bus vendors a fixed daily amount, irrespective of the number of trips that are made in a day.
Careem had first launched its bus service in Egypt in December 2018, last month it began a bus service between the Saudi cities of Jeddah and Makkah.
Hadeer Shalaby, director of Careem Bus, said: “The 13-seater service has been successful in Egypt that helps ease traffic flows and providing a safe and efficient way to commute. The app-based service is as seamless as ride-hailing a car, allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of our tech as well as availing of cheaper travel and reducing traffic on the roads.”
Careem has been recently acquired by Uber in a $3.1bn deal and it operates in 15 countries across the globe. It also does food and package deliveries, scheduled rides as well as credit transfers.