Demand for Uber has been surging in places such as Johannesburg. (Gareth van Zyl)
Johannesburg - Internet ride-sharing app Uber has become synonymous with offering short-trips in cities across the globe, but some SA users have stretched the service’s limits.
Uber launched in South Africa in August 2013 and this week the service has marked 2.5 years in the country.
To mark its ride in South Africa thus far, the company has detailed a number of key statistics regarding its local operation.
And among these numbers, the ride-sharing service has detailed the longest trip that it has recorded in South Africa to date.
“The longest Uber trip took place from Johannesburg to Durban and lasted approximately 6 hours over a distance of 580km,” said Uber.
The company doesn’t detail whether this ride was taken on its low-cost option uberX or via UberBlack.
But a quick calculation on the app reveals that a ride from Johannesburg to Durban would cost between R4 103-R5 471 on uberX or R7 119-R9 488 on UberBlack.
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This means that an Uber trip between Johannesburg and Durban can cost as much as ten times more than a one-way flight ticket between these two cities.
Low-cost airlines Kulula and Mango respectively sell one-way tickets between Johannesburg and Durban from R648.52 and R455 each.
Other data from Uber reveals that as of February 2016, the company has moved over 500 000 riders across South Africa.
The company added that it has also travelled approximately 93 million kilometres between 2013 and 2016, and that the average ETA (estimated time of arrival) for an Uber ride in SA is 4 minutes.
In 2013, Uber at first launched in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. Late last year, Uber launched in Port Elizabeth.
Bumpy SA ride
Uber, though, has also had a bumpy ride in South Africa.
Last year, the traffic officials in Cape Town impounded over 200 Uber cars because the service’s drivers didn’t have the necessary metered taxi permits.
READ: Cape Town impounds over 200 Uber cars in 2015
Uber then moved to resolve the issue by getting its drivers to apply for metered permits from the Western Cape transport department.
Metered taxi drivers in Johannesburg last year also protested against the service while the Gauteng MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi has previously said that Uber must register with authorities in the province to keep operating.
READ: Gauteng MEC: Uber must 'register' to continue operating
Meanwhile, last month, Cabinet approved the National Land Transport Amendment Bill which regards Uber operators as metered taxi operators and requires drivers and operators of the service to have metered licences as part of the law.
READ: Uber 'welcomes' tough SA transport law