Uber matatu
Uber is testing a new product that could see it introduce services in Kenya that would allow commuters to track, trace and book seats on matatus

In a week when the topic of public transport in Kenya has been at the fore, Uber has said it could in future be venturing into providing services related to matatus in the country.

The plans are dependent on tests being carried out for the new product in Egypt and Mexico, Reuters reported on November 14.

According to the report by the international media agency, the Uber service could allow commuters to book seats on matatus that ply Nairobi.

Uber’s East Africa General Manager Loic Amado told Reuters that more than a third of Kenyans in Nairobi use matatus as their main form of transport around the city.

“We want to be part of the transportation ecosystem in Nairobi and matatus are a big part of how people move around,” he said.

The feature that would be available on the Uber app would allow customers to track and trace matatus, the Uber executive said. The idea would be to apply it to vehicles carrying up to 16 people, he added.

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One matatu association official told Reuters that the measure would be welcome as “it would help reduce idle time at the bus stop during slow hours.”

The Uber matatu service is currently being tested in Egypt’s capital Cairo, and in the Mexican city of Monterrey.

If the service does kick on in Nairobi, Mr. Amado said that Uber could expand it to Uganda and Tanzania.

*Quotes from Reuters

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