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”.

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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. 

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