Ride-Hailing Apps Are Making the Developing World’s Traffic Problems Worse
Monday, August 5, 2019
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.