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Transport

  • NJ man orders a R19 000 Uber after a frat party brain fade

    The longest Uber trip ever recorded in South Africa spanned between Cape Town and Durban via Bloemfontein. We're not sure who this dedicated driver was, nor if the passenger knew that aircraft have been a viable form of travel for nearly a century now. But these long, seemingly unnecessary Uber trips aren't as rare as you may think. Just ask Kenneth Bachman a resident of New Jersey, USA. According to CBS, Bachman last week paid more than US$1600 (R19 000) for an Uber trip from a frat party at West Virginia University back home to the east coast of the country. Sorry,...

  • Sci-fi gone real: flying cars, commercial space travel and teleportation

    Sci-fi gone real is a series that focusses on the extravagant concepts dreamt up in the world of sci-fi, exploring just how close they are to becoming a reality. In this piece, we will be exploring the topic of transportation. From teleportation to flying cars, reality is rapidly becoming stranger than fiction. If you’re over the hassles and limitations of contemporary transportation, then this article might hold some hope for you yet. Teleportation Imagine a world without traffic jams or twenty-hour flights; a world where distance is merely the obstacle of scientific and mathematical endeavours. Well, this world might be a lot...

  • Still using BBM? You can now request an Uber via platform

    BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has seen far better days in emerging markets, as WhatsApp usurps it as the favoured instant messaging platform. That hasn't stopped a major announcement this week, as BBM operator Creative Media Works announces that you can now request an Uber via the IM service. The move will let BBM users on Android and iOS book Uber trips via the IM app's Discover tab, an emailed press statement reads. The partnership sees BBM harness the m.uber.com portal to book rides. "When launched from the Discover menu, the new Uber service asks riders to sign in with their mobile number or...

  • Uber settles medical record lawsuit with woman raped by driver

    Uber has capped off its terrible 2017 by settling a lawsuit with a woman who accused top executives of illegally obtaining her medical records after she was raped by a driver in New Delhi, India in 2014. The anonymous US resident sued the company for intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts, and defamation. The woman claimed that then-CEO Travis Kalanick, president of business in Asia Eric Alexander, and senior vice president of business Emil Michael all believed her rape to be a conspiracy by rival companies. Her lawyer alleged that the company sought her medical records in an attempt to...

  • Brett Herron live-tweets ‘horrific’ Metrorail journey across Cape Town

    How difficult is it to take a train from Khayelitsha to Cape Town on a Thursday morning? Very. At least that's what MayCo member for transport Brett Herron discovered today. Live-tweeting his morning fact-finding commute to understand the conditions travellers face on Metrorail's trains, Herron was left "horrified & angry". The day began well enough. #TrainStories starting my day at Nolungile. Train delayed. Commuters abandoning train and heading for taxis “ayikho”! #Metrorail pic.twitter.com/6nf8LO0dPZ — Brett Herron (@brettherron) November 30, 2017 But the mood soon changed. "Commuters telling me to be prepared to cling onto the roof of the train it will be so overcrowded," Herron...

  • This Indian airport handled close to 1000 flights in a single day

    We're not sure what you were up to Friday night, but an airport in India had no time for partying. In fact, Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport this weekend broke the record for the most number of flights handled in a single day by a single airport. That new record stands at 969. The number includes both landings and take-offs within a 24 hour period recorded between 5.30am on Friday and 5.30am on Saturday. Overall, the airport processed more than 40 flights per hour, besting its own previous record of 935 in 24 hours. And more impressive still is the record in spite of the airport's layout....

  • London’s red buses to run on coffee waste

    London's iconic red buses will soon assimilate into the lives of Londoners by running, at least partially, on coffee. On Monday this week, a company called Bio-bean teamed up with oil giant Shell to introduce a small amount of oil extracted from coffee waste into the diesel and biofuel mixture already used by the buses. The company will produce 6000 litres of fuel a year -- less than 0.01% of the London buses' total use in 2015. But the city's authorities want to increase the number of buses fueled by a blend of diesel and biofuels. It's looking at using cooking oil waste, tallow (a form...

  • Uber-rival Lyft goes international, expands to Toronto

    For the first time in its history, on-demand ride-hailing company Lyft will expand to a city beyond the United States. On Monday the firm announced plans to jump the northern border to Canada. It's first destination will be the country's largest city, Toronto. "We’ve been looking forward to taking our brand of ridesharing international for some time, and we’re super pumped to share this with our close friends up north," Lyft wrote in a statement. The company has partnered with other ride-hailing companies outside the US, namely China's DiDi Chuxing and India's Ola, but its name wasn't associated with that expansion. The move...

  • UberEATS adds five-star ratings, tweaks recommendations and faves

    A star rating system, personalised recommendations and an improved layout for favourites is heading to the UberEATS app, the company announced Thursday. In similar vein to Uber's five-star rating system, users' ratings for restaurants will now be visible on the app appearing below the establishment's description. "Sharing ratings is a win-win, as restaurants can use this real-time feedback, including detailed comments on their Restaurant Manager dashboard to grow their business," added the company's product managers Ambika Krishnamachar and Calvin Lee. The company also confirmed that users will now receive "personalised menu recommendations" for each establishment they browse within...

  • NASA, Uber are serious about bringing flying taxis to cities by 2023

    In an unlikely partnership, NASA has sought the services of Uber to build air control software that will manage the flying taxis of the future. Yes, flying taxis. The partnership, announced today at WebSummit in Lisbon, is not beyond Uber's personal ambitions either. In April 2017, the company announced plans to launch a flying taxi programme -- dubbed UberAIR -- in Dubai and Dallas by 2020. Now Los Angeles will also be added to the roster. Uber has also previously toyed with using helicopters in Cape Town in what was more a marketing stunt than feasible city transport solution, but the aircraft Uber...

  • Uber’s wildly odd ad will resonate with Capetonians stuck in traffic daily

    Uber's first advertisement highlighting the plight of commuters in southeast Asia may just trigger a nerve for those stuck in traffic in Cape Town and Johannesburg daily. Filmed in Bangkok with 200-odd extras, the company's ad trades automobiles for Flintstone-inspired box cars. But that doesn't mean there's any less chaos. From drivers stealing parking spots, to others cutting in ahead of lanes, to those select few who believe one-ways are in fact safe for bidirectional traffic: the video is practically what every road user experiences every day. Perhaps with less cardboard. While the ad is undoubtedly stupid, remarkably silly and deliberately extra,...

  • Taxify launches in Port Elizabeth, its fourth South African city

    Estonian on-demand transport company Taxify has this weekend began operations in its fourth South African city, Port Elizabeth. Its service has previously been available in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, alongside 25 other cities in 20 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Its latest expansion ensures that it joins Uber in the Eastern Cape city. But Taxify operations manager Linda Mahloko assured potential drivers that working for the company may be more lucrative than with other on-demand services. "Drivers can expect to earn at least 14% more when driving with Taxify compared to competitors," Mahloko said in a press release. "Taxify achieves...

  • Uber Driver app adds ‘no thanks’ button, rating protection & more

    Uber has been in the news a fair bit recently, from protests involving metered taxis to UberEATS finally launched in Durban. But the company's latest set of tweaks is aimed at improving operations for drivers. It today announced a number of features heading to the Uber Driver app, which the company claims will "make it even easier for driver-partners across South Africa to choose when, where, and how they drive". "Over the last few months, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to and engaging with over 12 000 driver-partners across South Africa, hearing what they care about when using the...

  • UberEATS now available in Durban’s northern suburbs

    UberEATS is now available in Durban, the company announced Friday. After launching in Johannesburg last year November, and stretching to Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Pretoria this year, the food delivery service is now available for those on South Africa's east coast. "UberEATS will be officially launched at the Botanical Gardens in Durban and from today, foodies from Durban North to Umhlanga and Ballito will now be able to indulge in their favourite food from over 70 restaurants by ordering through the UberEATS app," the company noted in a press release. The service currently delivers "across 1422 square kilometers, to over 35,000 unique...

  • Johannesburg highways disrupted by metered taxi protest, Uber cars torched

    Traffic along Gauteng's R24 route was brought to a standstill this morning, after metered taxi drivers parked their cars on the road in protest. The R24 and R21 are two of Johannesburg and the East Rand's most important routes, linking key Johannesburg suburbs with OR Tambo International Airport. This morning from as early as 6am however, the roads were barely accessible. #TaxiProtest and #HighwayProtest began trending on Twitter across Gauteng Friday morning, as users tweeted pictures of the blockage, and information channels reported on the incident. According to police, two Uber cars were also set alight. This also comes after a spike in...