Recently acquired Middle East’s ride-hailing platform Careem announce yesterday the launch of their direct bus services from Jeddah to Makkah.
According to the company, the service will start with 13-seater buses, prices at 25 Saudi riyals each way – 60% cheaper than typical ride-hailing services.
Hadeer Shalaby, Director of Careem Bus mentioned in a statement that Careem Buss will be revolutionizing mass transportation across Saudi Arabia, and it will bring a new level of sophistical and price to their current customers. “The 13-seater service has been a huge success in Egypt, easing traffic flows and providing a safe and efficient way to commute,” she said.
Already receiving approval from the Saudi Public Transport Authority, pilgrims usually go through the Jeddah-Makkah route to perform Umrah or Hajj. Many as well fly into Jeddah’s airport, which is 85 kilometers away from Makkah.
Careem Bus is considered the first app-based mass transportation in Saudi Arabia. According to the company’s statement, it’s part of their “ongoing commitment to solving transportation issues, improving mobility and creating jobs”.
So far customers can book their bus through a separate Careem Bus app – although walk-on passengers are also accepted. For now, the service only accepts cash, but other payment methods will soon be introduced, including credit card or Careem wallet.
The ride-hailing service platform is looking to offer bus routes through the region based on customer feedback. They’ve have acquired Indian bus-shuttle app Commut last September and they’re eyeing Pakistan next.