Uber Thinks Its Data Can Solve Nairobi’s Epic Traffic Jams
Friday, June 21, 2019
By Abdi Latif Dahir
Nairobi’s residents like to complain that driving from the airport to the city center—a distance of only 17km (10 miles)—can sometimes take longer than traveling to a foreign country.
With more than 4.5 million people, traffic congestion in the Kenyan capital can be maddening, especially during peak hours. Rapid urbanization, a rise in the number of car owners, poor infrastructure, and an ad-hoc system of colorful matatu busses are jamming up the city’s streets, making them dirtier and deadlier than ever before.
Uber wants city officials, urban planners, and researchers to use its data to solve some of these challenges. In 2017, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing firm launched Movement, a free tool that provides users with traffic insights from cities where the company operates. The Movement tool is already available in Nairobi, as well as Cairo, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria.
Photo courtesy of diaznash.