Uber recently announced the launch of UberPOA in Kenya. It is a new feature that will provide transport with the three-wheeler in Mombasa, Kenya.

The Tuk Tuk as it is locally called in Kenya is cheaper than ordinary taxis which make them preferred by city dwellers. It is also a good option for visitors who wish to get private transportation from one end of the city to another.

The three-wheelers are called tuk tuk, imitating the noise made by the vehicle’s engine. The autorickshaw operates around different parts of town like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and Maldini etc. These compete with other commercial means of transport including Motorcycles locally called the boda bodas and minibuses locally called matatus in Kenya.

Photo credit: techweez.com

Originally, tuk tuks began as carts (rickshaw) in Japan with two or three wheels pulled by one person carrying passengers. As time evolved, these carts evolved into a variety of auto rickshaws.

Old couple being transported in a rickshaw in China. Photo credit: klook.com

Today’s tuk tuk in Kenya began earlier in China as a rickshaw. It was used to commute people from place to place. Similar to what a tuk tuk looks like now, rickshaws are two wheeled carts pulled by a driver who acts as the third wheel.

A businessman being transported in a rickshaw. Photo credit: timeshighereducation.com

With advanced technology, these carts were modified and advanced such that it wouldn’t be pulled manually by a driver but powered to move from place to place by an engine.

A commercial tuk tuk (auto rickshaw) in Kenya. Photocredit:zurukenya.com
Set of commercial auto rickshaws (tuk tuk) in Kenya waiting to be hired. Photo credit: the star.co.ke

UberPOA has now launched in Mombasa and comes with more easy to use and customer friendly features like UberX. To ensure the safety of customers, UberPOA drivers will go through a drivers screening followed by a police clearance certificate, drivers licence and National ID card.

A labelled Uber tuk tuk commuting a passenger. Photo credit: capitalfm.co.ke

The UberPOA will also provide cheaper uber services as fares would be priced with a base cost of KES 10, KES15 per kilometre covered or KES3 per minute and with a minimum fare of KES50.

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