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When Alvimar da Silva realized Uber did not reach some of the more dangerous, far-flung areas of Brazil's biggest city Sao Paulo, he saw an opportunity: if the popular ride-sharing service did not go there, he would.
After six months of driving for the US application in the gridlocked city, da Silva launched his own rival service JaUbra in the sprawling northern district of Brasilandia in 2017.
Drivers - Silva - Hopes - Areas - Metropolis
Since then some 50 drivers have registered and da Silva hopes to expand to other no-go areas of the metropolis of 12 million—the city with the highest number of Uber users in the world.
Uber and other ride-sharing apps "started to veto the neighborhoods considered risky and difficult to access. But as we are already here, we don't have any trouble," says da Silva as he drives down the street where he was born 50 years ago, tooting his horn to greet residents.
Outsiders - Parts - Brasilandia - Inhabitants - Favelas
Few outsiders dare to enter parts of Brasilandia where many of its 265,000 inhabitants live in favelas made up of precarious multi-storey constructions squeezed into a labyrinth of streets covering the hills 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the center of Sao Paulo.
Rampant crime and poor internet access mean many Uber drivers do not accept journeys to the district.
Living - Brasilandia - App - Access - Points
And for those living in Brasilandia, the app is impossible to access from various points as AFP discovered during a recent visit.
Other ride-sharing apps do not venture there at night either, complained a resident, who depends on public transport.
Word - JaUbra - Neighborhoods - Streets - Numbers
As soon as word got out that JaUbra entered the neighborhoods of winding streets without numbers, da Silva noticed that the majority of his clients were residents who called him to take them to the doctor, the fresh food market or funk dances at the weekend.
As the business grew, da Silva started to bring in other drivers in the...
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