Ubra provides service in São Paulo where other ride-sharing services won’t go

Digital Originals

Ubra provides service in São Paulo where other ride-sharing services won't go

Crime and fear in the poor suburb Brasilândia, in Northern São Paulo makes it a no-go area for Uber drivers. So, locals created a home grown alternative: Ubra.

CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports. 

Diógenes da Silva has been driving full time for the last four months.

“We drive in areas considered to be risky. But I think there’s risk everywhere. We go everywhere, to places where other services don’t get to. We do it during the day, late at night. Anytime, short and long rides,” da Silva says.

Alvimar da Silva founded Ubra about one year ago to connect customers to local drivers. They have about 60 drivers regularly working with Ubra now.

“We feel abandoned. But I can’t say it’s absurd that Uber vetoed our region. To work in these suburbs you need knowledge, to understand the codes. For example, our drivers don’t leave their phones showing. And we know the locations where we have to drive in carefully, with the car windows opened to be seen from the outside,” da Silva says.

About 264,000 people live in Brasilia. Access to services like transportation is often limited.

Photographer Débora Lucia is a regular user of Ubra.

“There’s much prejudice with our region so I am glad this service was created for us. More than once I was stuck here late at night because there are no buses at this time. I couldn’t get a taxi or a driver from an app to pick me up here. All I could was ask friends for lifts,” Lucia says

“People living here, be it senior ladies who need to go to a clinic or young people who want to go partying need a ride. And that’s what we’re here for,” da Silva says.