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November 20, 2017

“We are giving up on this war,” Uber drivers now declare as frustrations mount

Uber drivers protest frustration.Photo/PATRICK VIDIJA
Uber drivers protest frustration.Photo/PATRICK VIDIJA

Online taxi hailing firm Uber has once again frustrated its drivers leaving them in a state of confusion.

This follows a move by the firm to slash its rates per kilometre by 45 per cent to Sh18, down from Sh33 per kilometre a month ago.

Last weekend, the drivers meeting to agree on the way forward ended without a substantive conclusion due to a low turn-out.

“Due to the recent events that have occurred regarding price reductions, it is only fair that we should take action before these price wars eventually render us jobless and auctioneers take away our vehicles,” digital taxi association of Kenya chairman David Muteru told the Star.

However, according to Uber spokesperson Janet Kemboi, the firm is covering for fare discounts costs hence drivers are not going at a loss.

“Early this month we launched a 20 per cent off promotion in Nairobi to encourage more people to ride with Uber, we are covering the cost of the fare discount. This means that partners should earn the same as they would if riders were paying the full fares,” she said.

Muteru confirmed that as leaders, they have decided to take a step back and strategise on the way forward hence dropping plans to go on a silent protest.

The drivers are fighting for rates not less than Sh45 per kilometre, Sh4 per minute, a base fare of Sh100 and a minimum fare of Sh300. This comes amidst rising volatility in the two-year old taxi hailing market.

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