Uber in Mombasa to ‘hurt’ local taxi crews

TAXI operators
TAXI operators

TAXI operators in Mombasa are apprehensive that cheaper online booking Uber taxis will launch services. Uber taxis were introduced to the Kenyan market last August.

They use apps and modern technology to reach their clients. Taxi operators consider Uber a business threat. Uber charges a base rate of Sh100, plus a charge of Sh4 per minute spent on the ride and an additional Sh60 per kilometre.

Other convectional taxi operators do not have standard rates. In January, conventional taxi drivers in Nairobi threatened to block all city roads if the national government did not resolve the dispute with Uber. There have been attacks on Uber drivers and their vehicles have been damaged or burnt.

Yesterday, Coast taxi operators said if Uber launches its services, many of them will be out of business. Paul Musau, a taxi operator in Mombasa town, said Uber should charge the same prices as conventional companies and operators.

“The Easy Taxi charges Sh100 per kilometre. We think this is fair enough to other operators and Uber should charge the same,” Musau said. He said many taxi drivers have old vehicles, which puts them at a disadvantage, compared to Uber, which operates a new fleet. “Who will want to board an old vehicle that charges higher prices?” Musau said the cost of operating and maintaining a vehicle is very high.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star