Travel Patterns of Uber Users in South Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The sharing economy has transformed the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors significantly in recent years. Ridesharing, in particular, has had a significant impact on transportation structures across the globe. This influence extends to many cities of the global south, most notably South Africa, which has had a long history of limited mobility due to apartheid city planning and limited public transportation options. Some early studies have suggested that ridesharing applications have influenced many South Africans’ ability to move around cities. However, the literature is still relatively thin in the South African context. This study assesses the travel patterns and characteristics of ridesharing in South Africa by focusing on the perceptions of users of the ridesharing application Uber in the City of Johannesburg. The results show that South Africans use ridesharing applications for a number of different purposes and throughout different geographical locations. It also sheds light on places in which users would not use the application due to safety concerns associated with retaliation from metered taxi drivers. This paper further highlights some of the patterns associated with distance and cost of Uber rides, indicating that the majority of Uber users in Johannesburg travel relatively short distances. The results are based on 309 surveys which were distributed online to Uber users based in Johannesburg. This chapter, therefore, provides a broad overview of Uber usage in Johannesburg from the perceptions of users of the application.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeographies of Tourism and Global Change
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameGeographies of Tourism and Global Change
ISSN (Print)2366-5610
ISSN (Electronic)2366-5629


  • E-hailing
  • Ride-sharing
  • South Africa
  • Travel patterns
  • Uber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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