L-R: Bhavik Rathod, Regional General Manager, Indian Subcontinent, Uber; Karthik Balachandrarajan, Operations and Logistics Manager - Colombo, Uber; Nuzreth Jalaldeen, Marketing Manager - Colombo, Uber; Varun Mundkur, Senior Launcher, Uber; Karun Arya, Communications Lead - South Asia & India, Uber

Uber, the on-demand technology platform and app that connects commuters who need a ride and licensed drivers, announced the official launch of its uberX product in Colombo starting today.

Uber – is a mobile app that connects you to a private chauffeur service to get around your city on-demand. It allows you to request a safe, reliable and convenient ride at the touch of a button, in Colombo and 360+ cities globally.

Launched in response to demand from Sri Lankans, uberX features air-conditioned sedans and premium hatchbacks at economical prices. Uber Sri Lanka said it will deliver the safety, reliability, and quality that millions of commuters have come to know and love about Uber in 367 cities in 67 countries around the world.

Varun Mundkur, Senior Launcher, Uber said, “Demand for Uber is rapidly growing as more and more residents and tourists in Colombo open up the Uber app and take their first ride. Our experience globally gives us the confidence that ride-sharing and technological innovation in transportation can make cities safer, easier to get around, less congested, and more livable. The launch of uberX today strengthens our ability to bring these benefits to Sri Lanka. At Uber, every city that we launch outperforms its predecessor and we expect nothing less from Colombo.

Star cricketer Mahela Jayawardena pictured when he took a Uber ride
Star cricketer Mahela Jayawardena pictured when he took a Uber ride

With over 1 million credit cards and 11 million debit cards in Sri Lanka and over 20% of the population on smartphones, Sri Lanka is poised for Uber, a statement from the firm said.

  • For commuters, Uber connects registered users with transportation on-demand, wherever and whenever they choose at the touch of a button. The seamless experience means never having to worry about finding a ride or having cash.
  • For drivers, Uber’s lead generation software facilitates powerful entrepreneurship opportunities. Drivers make far more – and with greater flexibility – than any other option available to them.
  • For the cities it serves, Uber means faster economic development in both residential and business districts, job creation for small businesses, reduced congestion because of a more efficient transportation alternative, reduction in drinking and driving incidents, and higher incomes for drivers who are, in turn, better able to support their families.

Uber launched in San Francisco in 2010 and is now available in over 367 cities in 67 countries including over 70 cities in 13 countries across Asia, and this is only the beginning!

How does Uber work?

Uber is a simple mobile application and riders can follow a few simple steps, to get moving from point A to B at the push of a button.

  1. A customer downloads the Uber mobile app for free, registers with a valid Credit/ International Debit Card and can then request for a high-quality chauffeur driven car at the touch of a button.
  2. The nearest driver is alerted and once they accept the booking request, are provided the customer’s name, contact number and pick-up location through the free Uber driver app. Simultaneously, the customer receives a booking confirmation along with the driver & vehicle details and can track their Uber, arriving real-time via GPS at their exact pick-up location.
  3. The trip fare is calculated using GPS data via satellite, which is then forwarded to Uber’s servers for accurate billing and immediate receipt generation.
  4. At the end of the trip, the customer simply alights from the vehicle and goes on their way. The trip fare is billed automatically to the customer’s credit card and a receipt with journey details is emailed immediately after.