Uber launches in Malta


Ride hailing giant Uber launches in Malta today

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Uber officially launched in Malta on Thursday.

The US behemoth said that as of today it is available on the island, with users able to summon drivers for its different ride-hailing services.

In April, Times of Malta first reported that the company will start operating in Malta.

Uber's Malta presence is being backed by the Alf Mizzi and Sons business empire and will be led by the former CEO of what is likely to be its biggest rival, Bolt.

San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users on its app to request a ride or order courier services, was founded in 2009 and operates in around 65 countries worldwide.

As with other options already available in Malta, when a nearby driver accepts a customer's request, the app displays an estimated time of arrival for the driver heading to the pick-up location.

Often described as a market disruptor, Uber has been criticised for the treatment of its drivers, who are gig workers and independent contractors.

App opened thousands of times before Uber arrived

Uber said on Thursday that although the service was not present on the island during 2021 the app was opened around 10,000 times to request a ride in Malta.

This figure reached 80,000 in 2019, reaching peaks during summertime when thousands of tourists flock to the island.

"Our data shows that there is a strong demand for Uber in Malta, especially during the tourist season. For this reason, we decided to launch the app in the country and we are happy to do it with a partner like Alf Mizzi and Sons."

"Our goal is to bring value to the whole transportation system in the islands, to be absolutely compliant with the local regulations and to allow people to travel reliably and safely thanks to our application," an Uber spokesperson said.

Passengers will be able to benefit from all the features of UberX, such as the possibility of obtaining information about the driver, the model of the car and knowing the fare in advance, dividing the cost of the journey, viewing the route of their journey and, passengers and drivers will be able to get in touch by phone or chat without sharing their phone number.

In terms of safety, passengers will have the possibility of accessing the Uber safety toolkit and obtaining assistance in case of need.

In addition, Uber XL will offer the opportunity to up to eight passengers to travel together; Uber Comfort, finally, will offer a more high-end vehicle and extra leg room.