Uber are set to launch a new public bus service in Egypt to operate across the entire country, according to reports by Al Ahram.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, who added that Uber will begin running its buses once a new law regulating its activities is passed.

Speaking to ONTV, Sahar Nasr also revealed that Uber will be investing heavily in Egypt over the coming three months. The news comes after Uber’s director of public policy planning and strategy, Justin Kintz, met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly. The pair discussed how the upcoming period could bring broader investments from the $6.8 billion-dollar company into Egypt.

Currently, Uber runs cabs in only three of Egypt’s major cities, namely Cairo, Alexandria, and Mansoura, with a limited service that runs in the North Coast exclusively during the summer months. The planned bus service is intended to run on a national level.

Image source: Reuters

Poor maintenance and low investments have led to a strained and inadequate public transport infrastructure in the capital, which is home to over twenty million residents, in addition to an estimated two million who commute from outside the city and other governorates. A World Bank study from 2014 revealed that Cairo’s traffic congestion cost the country $6.5 billion annually, which was attributed to a poor public transport system and the high rate of private car ownership it encouraged.

Since Uber arrived in Cairo in 2014, it has seen its market share of the local cab industry boom to being the fastest growing in the Middle East and North Africa region, with around 30,000 drivers in 2016.

Prices and further details are yet to be revealed of the new Uber bus service.

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