News & Conflicts

Uber & Taxify Drivers In Kenya Are Protesting Low Rates

Digital Taxi Forum representing 2,000 drivers for cab hailing services like Uber & Taxify in Kenya has gone on a week-long app switch off protesting against the companies low rates and high commissions. The drivers complain about the customers being charged lower fares due to the steep competition between ride-hailing services in Kenya, an average ride with Uber, Taxify, and others currently costs about $1.50 which doesn’t give them enough pay-out to maintain the running cost of having a car in Kenya. The drivers have to work longer hours to actually make enough money to balance their dues.

Digital Taxi Forum has taken on legal actions to get the government to designate the ride-hailing companies as transport companies and not technology companies as is the case currently, they also want the companies to double their rates and reduce their commissions to a standard that helps drivers in Kenya earn better wages.

Uber is currently reviewing everything that impacts driver-partner earnings. In the meantime Uber will continue to have the earnings guarantee to support driver-partner fare earnings until the review is complete, Uber said on their Twitter account.

Uber currently charges a 25 percent commission on each ride, while apps like Taxify and Little Car charge 15 percent, African News Reports.

“We are like employees but we don’t have benefits and we cannot, therefore, be legally allowed to form a trade union,” Uber driver Edwin Waithaka points out.

From the CBD to Kenyatta National Hospital, for instance, Mr. Karori makes about Sh300 or less. So when Uber takes out 25 percent, he’s left with about Sh225. He will use the same money to pay Sh300 daily parking as well as meet the cost of the car wash. He also has to have adequate airtime and airtime apps to enable him to communicate with clients. “At the end of the month, I am expected to pay Sh60,000 to the owner of the vehicle and still make my profit,” Mr. Karori recounts, saying last month he could only raise Sh50,000, forcing him to borrow the balance to remain afloat, Nation Reports.

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