Moving to Cairo three months ago was a risky move, but a great one to say the least. However, I was faced with the obstacle of living in a city I didn’t know with people who spoke a different Arabic dialect than me, and as someone who is constantly running from event to the office to event, I needed a reliable form of transportation.
I started out by taking taxis and after enough mildly awkward to straight up traumatic experiences, I switched to the car service Careem and my life has been a million times easier since. They’re easy and convenient, they’re everywhere I need to go, and the vast majority of the time, they cost as much or even less than a normal taxi. And now, they’ve recently dropped their prices in Cairo by up to 15%! Even better.
While taking a normal taxi can be hassle-free, most of the time they’re not. Here’s why I don’t take taxis and some tips that I wish cab drivers would learn:
1. Don’t sexually harass your passengers
As a woman living in the Middle East, I’m no stranger to uncomfortable stares or inappropriate comments. With Careem, I don’t have to worry about my driver coming on to me on my way home, and if they ever were to, I could easily report it through the app.
2. Don’t jack up the meter
It’s so obvious when they’ve tampered with the meter and I just don’t have the time to sit there and negotiate my cab fare in the middle of the street. The Careem app, on the other hand, shows me an estimate of how much my ride will cost.
3. Stop pretending that the meter magically turned off or broke
We’re not stupid. The meter is alway running with Careem and I receive a receipt via text and e-mail after my ride is complete.
4. Accept credit cards
Sometimes, I don’t always have cash on me, but with Careem, I can get where I need to be with cash or card.
5. Use a GPS
Thanks to Careem’s GPS system, I don’t have to fret about walking to a suitable pick-up location or direct him where to drop me off like with normal taxis.
6. Stop trying to scam your customers
Ever been in a taxi where the driver told you some tragic story and tried to hustle you to help him out? Yeah, well that doesn’t happen with Careem.
7. Act like a professional and don’t be high while driving!
Ever felt like a cab ride was probably your last? I’ve never had that feeling in Careem because there’s a code of conduct. I don’t have to freak out because my driver isn’t on drugs and doesn’t think he’s in the Fast and Furious.
8. Clean and maintain your vehicle
Some taxis on the road look like they’re about to fall apart at any second. No thanks, I’d rather arrive at my destination in one piece and without ruining my outfit from mud on the seats. On the other hand, Careem cars were actually built in this century and are well-kept.
Originally published on Scoop Empire February 4, 2016