Kabul puts faith in Bu­ber on deadly streets

The Sunday Telegraph - - World News - By Ben Farmer in Kabul

THE home of Afghan start-up Bu­ber may boast more se­cu­rity pre­cau­tions than the aver­age Cal­i­for­nia in­ter­net firm, but the Sil­i­con Val­ley zeal of its staff is just the same.

Bu­ber’s of­fice, in the shadow of Kabul’s Darul Aman palace, fea­tures blast walls and armed guards. From here, the firm hopes to be­come Af- ghanistan’s equiv­a­lent gi­ant Uber.

Kabul’s traf­fic-clogged streets are thronged with white-and-yel­low taxis, but they are un­metered and pas­sen­gers, who have lit­tle re­as­sur­ance their driver is trust­wor­thy, ne­go­ti­ate a price.

“If you go out­side and book a taxi, it’s re­ally dif­fi­cult be­cause of the price ne­go­ti­a­tion, and be­cause you don’t trust the driver, or where he will take you,” of ride-hail­ing Za­heerud­din Nae­abkhail, Bu­ber’s man­ager, told The Sun­day Tele­graph.

A lo­ca­tion-based, ride-hail­ing app sim­i­lar to Uber of­fers not only easy cheap taxis, but also peace of mind in a city wracked with se­cu­rity is­sues.

Bu­ber – which is set to go live in the next month or two, with 500 driv­ers – will let pas­sen­gers share their lo­ca­tion with friends and fam­ily, while driv­ers who sign up get ac­cess to bet­ter fares.

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