Cab hailing company Careem announced a plan to incorporate more than 42,000 white taxi drivers through a new dispatch service that will be available after the Eid Al-Adha holiday.
The new feature will enable customers to order a ride with white taxi drivers through the application, El-Watan newspaper reported, quoting a statement released by the company on Monday.
According to Wael Fakharany, Careem’s newly appointed Managing Director for Egypt and the global Senior Vice President of Government Relations, the company is keen to integrate the country’s traditional white taxi drivers into the system.
White taxi drivers had staged several protests earlier this year against applications such as Careem and Uber, which they claimed operate illegally in Egypt and took them out of business. Following the protests, Egypt’s government said that it would protect companies that have offered such “unique” services needed in Egyptian market.
The spokesperson for the prime minister condemned the protests and said that Egypt would continue to support the operation of Uber and Careem.
Although public opinion seemed to side with the ride-hailing apps, there was widespread agreement that the service offered by white taxi drivers should be improved, rather than eliminating them entirely from the country.
In a statement to Mada Masr, Fakharany said that Careem welcomes “his white taxi drivers as brothers driving cars that are smoke-free and drug-free.”
Fakharany further stated that the Egyptian market is a top priority for the Dubai-based company.
“Our huge investments in the development of human resources and technology emphasize the importance of the Egyptian market,” he said.
The company is also seeking to upgrade its customer service centers in order to develop the capacities of the white taxi drivers in a way that ensures the improvement of the service provided and its conformity with the company’s efficiency and standards.