Ride-Hailing Apps Are Making the Developing World’s Traffic Problems Worse
By Mostafa Kandil
Ride hailing has revolutionized transport across the globe. Once only found in the US and Europe, ride-hailing companies have quickly expanded into emerging markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt. Because local transport in these places is often poor quality, unreliable and expensive, on-demand transport has provided a great service to consumers. In Africa alone, the need for convenient transportation has led to a surge of ride-sharing services on the continent with nearly 60 companies in operation across 21 African countries. But despite the benefits of ride hailing, it is a limited solution to transport problems in emerging markets and only works for a small share of the population.
Ride hailing puts more cars on traffic-choked roads and exacerbates standstill congestion in cities such as Cairo and Nairobi. The proliferation of ride-hailing companies has put a spotlight on the harm caused by ride hailing in emerging markets, and has exposed the need for alternative solutions, including on-demand mass transit.
Photo courtesy of Matt Lingard.