Uber SA has bigger problems than meter taxis
We have all seen and heard of the victimization of Uber users in the country caused by meter taxi’s but could there be more than that meet’s the eye? Recent media reports of violence against Uber users are slowly introducing fear to some customers, myself included and that could lead to Uber losing valuable customers but it doesn’t end there.
As we all know nature does not allow a vacuum, so whether Meter Taxi’s and Uber drivers are fighting there is still a large demand for taxis because people need to move quickly especially in large cities. This leads to new competitors entering the market.
A new local app Scoop a Cab that has come as a direct consequence of the tensions between Uber and meter taxis is looking to take advantage of the situation. The app wants to be the solution moving forward by having similar Uber features but also including meter taxi operators which is one of the disadvantages of Uber. Uber is very selective on which cars get used on its services and a lot of the meter taxi’s don’t qualify.
However Scoop a Cab are not the only ones looking to tap the taxi e-hailing marketing in SA, there is also Ryda which works in a similar way as Uber with a few twists here and there with its competitor SnappCab and last but not least is Lyft the official opposition in the country which is slowly gaining traction. What is interesting to note also is that almost all of them operate in the big cities and what is nice is that most of them try to incorporate meter taxis in one way or the other.
Uber, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be phased by all this competition, Justin Pratt, Head of Business at Uber Sub-Saharan Africa has said previously “We like competition. We think competition is very healthy in this space. There is just so much to do that I don’t think that one can do it all. We encourage that innovation. My personal view is that technology is pretty much good everywhere. I find it very hard to find use cases where technology has been bad.” For the everyday commuter one can only hope for a more efficient and safer form of transportation whether it is a local company or international as long as it provides value.