Nile Taxi hopes to allow customers to book their travel via telephone or internet, said CEO and founder of Nile Taxi Magdi Kirollos.
The company, which runs a water taxi service using boats carrying customers along the River Nile, is currently seeking the necessary permissions from authorities to activate a telephone and internet booking service, as well as an application for mobile phones.
Customers will be able to view schedules and timetables and book their tickets from home.
“The company is working very hard to get the permissions required for the launch of this service,” said Kirollos.
He continued: “The [mobile phone] application is going to be provided by MSN Arabia and it will be free, with the only cost being the tickets themselves. The service will help customers to book tickets, check schedules and access other services. Also you will be able to book tickets in advance for a whole month.”
Kirollos added that the service will initially use five water taxis, and said that he hopes this will increase to 30 in the coming years once the service takes off.
The company has now established the route for their water taxis, with six main stations on the banks of the Nile: Maadi, Manial, Downtown Cairo, Zamalek and Shoubra Al-Kheima.
The company’s Facebook page says the service will allow customers to predict their travel times more accurately, due to the lack of congestion on the river compared to roads. It will also save fuel and decrease air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as relieve stress for travellers frustrated by road travel.
“We have been working in the industry of ships and the sea since 1986. We also own boat franchises, so we know the business inside out,” Kirollos said.
He explained that the idea had been on his mind for over six years, and for the last three years they had been trying to establish the company. Due to instability in Egypt and the changes in government, it was difficult to get a license for the company.
Nile Taxi currently uses sports boats to ferry their clientele around, but hope to begin using a new boat that can carry 15 passengers by May.
Nile Taxi was founded by Kirollos and Amr Abou El Seoud.
Ticket prices range from EGP 10 to EGP 35.