Covering a 40 kilometer distance can take up to an hour and a half in Cairo’s traffic and to alleviate Cairenes from such exhausting trips, ride-hailing application Careem has introduced Water Taxi, which will transport the city’s residents between five ports along the famous Nile.
The pickup and drop off locations are located along some of the most popular recreational and nightlife neighborhoods in Cairo and the Water Taxi can be hailed between 8AM and 8PM with the single trip costing EGP 100 (US $5.60 using current exchange rates).
“Four of your friends can ride along with you,” the company said on its official Facebook page, highlighting that the ride must be booked in advance.
Water transportation is not a new service to the crowded city. In 2013, Magdi Kirollos and Amr Abou El Seoud founded Nile Taxi to transport locals. Nile Taxi currently operates in even zones with different pickup and drop-off locations. Unlike Careem, Nile Taxi doesn’t have a unified price but has set a tariff for each station in each zone. The lowest price per person is EGP 20 while the highest is EGP 50.
While many other cities across the world offer urban boat transport, they are often based on sightseeing, transporting tourists such as those seen in London, Amsterdam and, famously, Venice. In 2014, Uber introduced UberBoat in Boston as a limited time summer promotion.
Dubai-based Careem has been taking several steps to expand its clientele base with community engaging offers such as EGP 10 credit for each goal Egypt scored in a recent football match, weekend promo codes to deter drinking and driving and discounts if attending specific events such as concerts. Internationally, Careem teamed up with Next Future Transportation to deliver self-driving electronic pods to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, reflecting its promised $100 million investment in research and development for the coming five years.