Despite the growth of ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber in several different countries, especially with those with better infrastructure, these companies haven't been able to succeed within Cuba.
Internet connectivity has come slowly to Cuba but recent years have seen significant growth in WiFi hotspots, cyber cafes, and home DSL connections. And with the launch of mobile data service last December, enterprising young Cubans saw further opportunity.
A university teacher, a designer, and an I.T. programmer came together to create a ride-sharing app adapted to Cuban conditions.
“We try to reproduce with this app the everyday dynamics about calling a taxi, negotiating trip price, you know, Claudia Cuevas, the app’s creator said. “This was what we wanted to do with Sube.”
Cuevas said it didn’t take long for the service to catch on.
“For us the opening of mobile data services was all we needed to make the app operative and available to everyone, people began to download it,” she said. “In all, over 5000 passengers and more than 300 cab drivers have joined in.”
Sube’s Co-Creator Darien Gonzalez said their app also serves a higher purpose.
“This is an app with a social impact,” Gonzalez said. “At the end of the day, our objective is to help the local transportation of people.”
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