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February 19, 2018

Why you might not get your Uber from today

Uber taxi driver Charles Museabi./FILE
Uber taxi driver Charles Museabi./FILE

Drivers of online taxis have threatened to switch off their apps today making it impossible for customers to order for services. 

The drivers are protesting low commissions and poor management from their service providers. Those who have vowed to paralyse services include Uber, Little Cabs, Taxify and Mondo drivers who met yesterday in Nairobi to agree on the way forward.

The boycott is set to involve switching off the drivers mobile applications so that consumers will not find any available cars while searching from their end.

The drivers are demanding that the commission deducted by the service providers be reduced from 25 per cent and 15 per cent to 10 per cent.

They also want the online taxi firms to agree on a uniform minimum charge per kilometre of not less than Sh300.

In addition, the drivers demand that they be consulted by the service providers before introduction of discounted or free rides.

“We do not benefit from these free rides, and when other players introduce lower prices, then our business become unsustainable,” an Uber driver told the Star.

The strike comes even as the online taxi firms are struggling to win the driver loyalty with most of them using more than one service for convenience purpose.

In response to the strike, Ubers spokesperson for East Africa region Janet Kemboi said they have established channels of communications that the drivers and partners should use to address their concerns.

The drivers are also seeking to table a bill in Parliament on regulating prices for online taxi hailing firms through the help of Nominated Member Maina Kamanda and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.


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