Photograph — McReal Estate

On January 3rd, Uber announced the launch of UberASSIST in Nairobi Kenya, a specialized cab service that caters for riders with special access needs. The service is an initiative of the global transportation network company to facilitate accessibility for all by providing transportation options.

“Moving around your city should be quick and convenient for all. At Uber, we strive to create transportation options that give equal opportunities and access to everyone,” read a statement from Uber.

Nairobi is the third city in Africa where UberASSIST has been rolled out. The service is designed to provide additional assistance for the senior and disabled communities, with top-rated specifically trained drivers enlisted for the service. First launched in Africa last year, operations began in South Africa’s Cape Town and subsequently Johannesburg. Its launch came as a response to the needs of people with disabilities, alongside the elderly who encounter trouble accessing on-demand vehicles.

Introducing the service in Nairobi will provide residents with more transportation options and give equal opportunities to people with special needs. All that is required when requesting a ride on the Uber app is to contact the UberASSIST ahead of time and inform them of any unique requirements. The drivers are trained in caregiving, safety requirements and the necessary knowledge to cater for its tailored riders and the vehicles can accommodate most foldable wheelchairs.

In November 2017, Uber had announced the launch of their motorcycle taxi service UberBoda in Nairobi. The Boda service provides residents of Nairobi with quick and affordable commute options across the city using the Uber app and is set to compete with Taxify which launched its Boda service in March, Uganda-based SafeBoda which launched in Kenya just three months ago, and other services like GetBoda, VutaRide and BusyBoda.

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