Careem Bus has launched in Saudi Arabia, with Jeddah as the first city of operations and a direct service from Jeddah to Makkah.
Following the successful launch of Careem Bus in Egypt in December last year, Careem has expanded operations to the Kingdom, with a journey between the two cities costing SR25 ($6) each way. The service comes as part of Careem’s commitment to solving transportation issues, improving mobility and creating jobs.
The route has been approved by the Saudi Public Transport Authority.
Hadeer Shalaby, director of Careem Bus, said: “Careem Bus will revolutionize mass transportation across Saudi Arabia and bring a new level of sophistication and price to our customers. The 13-seater service has been a huge success in Egypt, easing traffic flows and providing a safe and efficient way to commute. Through our superior technology, the app-based service is as seamless as ride-hailing a car, allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of our tech as well as enjoying cheaper travel and reducing traffic on the roads.”
Customers will be able to check the availability of the bus using the app, monitor its arrival and secure a seat. Walk-on passengers will also be accepted. The service is currently cash only, but soon passengers will be able to pay with several payment methods, such as the Careem wallet on the app or a registered credit card.
The service operates through a separate app from the ride-hailing app and is available for download on iOS and Android. Customers are able to pick the bus that best suits their travel time and will be able to track the bus as it arrives, the same as when ordering a Careem car.
The buses are provided in partnership with vendors who employ the captains, paying them a fixed monthly salary. Fares collected by the Careem Bus captains go to Careem, while Careem pays the bus vendors a fixed daily amount, regardless of the number of trips they make.
“The introduction of Careem Bus will help Saudi Arabia with the Vision 2030 plan for smart cities, contributing to app-based integrated transport options. It also helps the government achieve its ambitions to reduce pollution and ease congestion, as every Careem Bus has the potential to represent 13 fewer cars on the road,” a statement said.
The service will initially start with 13-seater buses.