Uber Eyes Amman

Taxi drivers beware. Uber, the fast growing ride sharing service laying waste to transport business models the world over, is setting its sights on coming to Amman.

The San Francisco-based company recently posted an online advertisement looking for a community manager for the capital. “We’re looking for a community support all-star to take charge of marketing and customer satisfaction efforts,” the posting said.

Uber said it was keen to expand to Amman, but declined to indicate when its service might be available in the city. “Uber’s ambition is to be everywhere, any progressive forward-thinking city that has a need for safe, reliable, and efficient transportation, we want to be there. And Amman is no exception,” a Dubai-based spokesperson for Uber said in a statement. “What we are currently doing is exploring our options, including looking into the local talent pool and will be sure to update you of any definitive plans.”

Uber’s smartphone app connects passengers with private vehicles for hire. No money is exchanged and fares are significantly cheaper than those charged by traditional taxi companies. Despite encountering regulatory roadblocks and strong opposition from existing cab drivers, Uber is now available in over 225 cities across 45 countries.

With Internet-enabled smartphones quickly becoming the norm in the Kingdom, we can expect to see taxi hailing services grow in popularity. Easy Taxi, a Brazilian company offering a similar mobile app service to Uber, was recently launched in Jordan. While the taxi hailing hotline Taoseal Taxi, a cab hailing hotline based on simple GSM technology, went live earlier this year. Its creator Saad Abu Odeh told The Jordan Times that around 4,200 taxi drivers had so far signed up to the service and more were expected to join in the future.