KARACHI: Popular car ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc will launch its uberGo service in Karachi on Aug 25, making the metropolis the second Pakistani city it has expanded operations to this year.

The low-cost uberGo service will initially serve Clifton, Saddar Town, Jamshed Town, Gulshan-i-Iqbal Town, Liaquatabad, North Nazimabad, Gulberg Town, Malir Town and Korangi.

Trips in Karachi will be free the first weekend in celebration of the expansion.

Uber's statistics for Lahore since March 2016. ─Courtesy Uber
Uber's statistics for Lahore since March 2016. ─Courtesy Uber

Typical uberGO vehicles include the Suzuki Swift, Toyota Vitz, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and other equivalent vehicles, whereas payment options include cash as well as the usual electronic payment options.

Uber's waiting times over a 15-day period in July 2016 in Lahore. ─Courtesy Uber
Uber's waiting times over a 15-day period in July 2016 in Lahore. ─Courtesy Uber

Head of Pakistan Expansion Zohair Yousafi said: "Thousands of people have already downloaded the app in Karachi in anticipation. We like to say that cities choose us, instead of Uber choosing cities."

"The response has been incredible in Lahore, so we are extremely excited to be launching in Karachi. Anyone can now enjoy an affordable, reliable and safe ride at the push of a button thanks to uberGO. The competitive price means using uberGO is the perfect option for anyone wanting to get around the city," Yousafi said.

Uber Pakistan said every driver will pass through a rigorous screening process before they can use Uber.

The service requires drivers to provide a national identity card, driving license, car registration documents, a police verification certificate and a social referral character certificate.

All drivers must also go through comprehensive training on how to operate the app and attend a mandatory anti-sexual harassment seminar.

The app uses GPS-enabled maps to allow users to find the closest available driver, usually just minutes away.

Once requested, the rider sees the driver’s photo, name and car registration and can watch on their smartphone in real-time as the vehicle arrives.

They can also check whether others have had a good experience with the driver.

Uber is available on all iOS, Android and Windows smartphones.

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