Uber and Careem Might Be Banned In Egypt

Egypt’s Administrative Court issued a decision to shut down ride-hailing services in Egypt —particularly, Uber and Careem— based on the allegation that they are violating Egypt’s traffic law.

In March 2017, a group of taxi drivers filed a lawsuit against the mentioned ride-hailing services claiming that they, allegedly, “stole” their customers.

The Egyptian Prime Minister and the Ministers of Transportation, Interior and Finance have also argued that it is illegal for a privately-owned vehicle driver to demand a fee from riders because that is an exclusive benefit for vehicles registered as cabs.

The case further argued that Uber and Careem, have not been operating under any law regulating their practices, which can have negative impacts on the white taxi driver who, as claimed, abide by the law.

Also argued by the case, Uber and Careem depend on GPS tracking systems which is illegal as it goes against the traffic law.

Nevertheless, the Court’s decision is not effective immediately. The High Administrative Court can still file an appeal.

Before the launch of these ride-hailing services, the market was monopolized by white taxi drivers. Customers were not satisfied with the white taxi’s service as the drivers quite frequently scammed the riders by increasing prices or tampering with taxi meters. Even further, they tended to decline requests because the destination is too far, too close or just “mesh tari2i.”

In comparison with the white taxi, customers have described the Uber and Career experience to be safer more comfortable, with much more reasonable fees and better cleanliness.

As a result, demand shifted from white taxis to ride-hailing services which, in turn, lowered the white taxi drivers’ living standards. Ever since the launch of Uber and Careem, multiple taxi drivers have organized protests against the former demanding that the government bans their use.

Uber and Careem have been making good strides in helping Egyptians make a living. In 2017 alone, over 150,000 drivers gave rides with Uber.