We’ve been seeing a steady increase of American companies and franchises making their way to our island lately. We’ve been enjoying Domino’s for quite some time, we’ve got news of Starbucks a couple of weeks ago, and now we have Uper! And that is totally not a typo guys. It’s really called Uper.
Uper has recently roused our curiosity after seeing adverts for it on Facebook. Being Lovin Malta, we decided to discover more about this mysterious new entity on our island.
Here’s some amusing facts about this new cab service.
First of all, it’s actually pronounced ‘Upper’. The phantom P is not present, however it’s just like ghosts; even though you cannot see them, it does not mean that they’re not there.
Uper with a P is not a Maltese company. It’s a Ukrainian company which operates in Malta, Ukraine, Libya, Egypt and Turkey. When asked about why they didn’t just get Uber here, the guys from the company told us that Uber was not allowed to operate in Ukraine and Malta. In Ukraine, it’s mostly due to the fact that Uber is an American company.
In Malta, however, it cannot operate because of the whole taxi number plate law present on the island.
“You can only operate a taxi company if your number plates end with a Y, so Uber did not see it wise to operate here,” we were told by a spokesperson for the company.
In other words, Uper with a P’s mother company in Ukraine was initially run by someone who really wanted Uber in the ex-Soviet Socialist Republic.
The Ukrainian company developed the same app, marketing development and concept of Uber, but changed the logo. So it’s not related to Uber.
But it’s just like Uber.
With a phantom P.
When the company branched out and came over to Malta, it made some changes — instead of having the map of Ukraine on their logo, they got the fishy Maltese map instead.
Their heart is in the right place though. “We wanted to create an innovative cab service in Malta, we want to reach great targets and use new systems,” the spokesperson said.
“We have a pre-booking system, where you can book a cab for another day. You get every single detail you need — you get the driver’s photo, the number plates and car type. There’s also the live tracking option which allows you to see in real time where your driver currently is,” he said.
“Every passenger has different needs, so some of our cars are pet friendly. If you pet weighs less than five kilos you can get a certain cab, but if it weighs more, you will get access to someone who does not mind having larger pets in his car, it’s very efficient,” the spokesperson said.
When we did book an Uper cab, the driver struggled to find our offices. A lot. And we ended up cancelling.
In the meantime, if you want to try Uper, check out their website, download the app, and judge them for yourself.