Different Benefits of E-Hailing Services

Updated on 19 June 2024

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E-hailing services have reshaped our transportation industry in South Africa. Commuters can now request a ride at their convenience with just a few clicks on their smartphones, saving the time and energy of waiting for taxis or other scheduled public transport. These are just a few benefits that e-hailing offers.

E-hailing services also offer safety, and affordability to commuters across the world. By using mobile technology, GPS tracking, and user feedback mechanisms, e-hailing platforms have revolutionised the way we book and experience rides

Explore the benefits of e-hailing to commuters in South Africa and around the globe.

1. Accessibility and Convenience

Accessibility through smartphones: Smartphone apps have changed the way most commuters gain access to transportation. Commuters can book a ride by filling in the details of their destination, selecting the vehicle of their choice (considering the number of passengers), requesting the ride and confirming the pick-up location.

On-demand availability: E-hailing services are broadly available and accessible in cities including Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, and are seamlessly benchmarking in other cities as well. This offers convenience, unlike traditional transportation.

Real-time monitoring/tracking a ride: Real-time tracking allows commuters to track their ride progress and they are also able to share the location with family and friends to be aware of the ride’s whereabouts.

2. Background Checks

Driver verification: E-hailing services offer background checks of drivers that include criminal history, driving record and a vehicle roadworthy test at DEKRA to ensure commuters are safe with the dedicated rides.

Emergency assistance options: Uber has integrated the emergency button into the Uber app. Allowing commuters to get help quickly if they’re facing an emergency situation.

3. Economic and Employment Opportunities

Job creation for drivers: E-hailing firm Uber South Africa has created over 100 000 economic opportunities for its e-hailing drivers and delivery couriers since entering the local market in 2013. Similarly, Bolt aims to create around 30 000 jobs for youth in the long term.

Flexible hours for drivers: E-hailing drivers can be their own boss with the flexibility hours, they can set the hours they want to work, and choose the rides they want to take.

Potential side hustle: Whether you’re a student, part-time or full-time employee, being an e-hailing driver means that drivers can earn extra cash by working flexible hours. This can for instance be working after normal work hours or on weekends.

4. Cost Efficient

Cashless transactions: E-hailing platforms have made it easier for commuters to make secure cashless transactions using their mobile devices. This means not needing to carry cash, and there are no uncertainties about having enough cash on hand.

Cost-effective compared to owning a car: Purchasing a vehicle can be more expensive than using e-hailing services, cause a vehicle includes insurance and maintenance, while e-hailing offers a pay-as-you-use model eliminating the need for substantial investment

The table below compares the monthly travelling costs of a Suzuki S-Presso versus taking an Uber, as outlined by the tracker.

The total cost of owning a car was calculated based on a vehicle price of R 175 000. The car was financed over 72 months at 13% interest with a 10% residual value.

The total cost includes petrol, maintenance, insurance at a rate of R 4,4/km, and other miscellaneous expenses such as R 200 for parking and R 139 for tracking fees.

Additionally, Uber rates for different service levels (including “Go” and “Comfort”) were recorded to show the potential charges for Joburg commuters during work hours.

5. Advancing Technology

Innovation in the transportation sector: In terms of alternatives, e-hailing improves urban mobility by reducing reliance on private cars and integrating vehicle hire services. Furthermore, it promotes sustainability by incorporating not only vehicles but also bikes and scooters into the rental service, catering to the specific needs of each user for getting about the city.

Improving user experience: The role of technology is at its peak for e-hailing services, the smartphone user is now able to book a comfortable ride and track its progress with a few clicks. With the advancement of Artificial Intelligence, e-hailing services have been able to provide better services to commuters across the country.

E-hailing services have changed the way commuters get a comfortable ride with just a few clicks and tracking to see the destination. It has made commuters drastically easier with their safety features and flexibility. However, the future of e-hailing services is promising as many people will choose e-hailing services rather than traditional public transportation because of its convenience. The time for small businesses and side hustlers to jump on this opportunity is now!

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