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E-taxi drivers threaten mass migration after signing new deal

SCI & TECH
By Jeniffer Anyango | April 13th 2021

Digital taxi users could soon dig deeper into their pockets to get services after drivers and car owners mooted plans to migrate to another application due to low commissions.

The digital taxi drivers yesterday signed an agreement with My Ride Ltd, a new digital taxi app, claiming oppression from major companies, namely Uber, Bolt and Little Cab.

Following the signing of the agreement, Digital Taxi Forum Secretary-General Wycliffe Alutalala notified members and issued a 30-day notice to the aforementioned apps that they shall be switching to the new app.

The new app will charge drivers a commission of not more than 15 per cent compared to others who charged up to 28 per cent. “We shall be switching off those companies and deleting them at the end of the 30-day notice,” said Alutalala

According to the car owners and taxi drivers, Uber, Bolt and Little Cab defied their request for dialogue on pricing models and commissions for cars on their platforms.

Alutalala said high fuel prices have worsened the operating environment for the digital taxi operators, who reel from low business occasioned by the pandemic.

“As in the past, we have noted that when the price increases, commissions remain the same and the cost of the trip also remains the same or even goes higher,” explained Alutalala.

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Uber’s Uber Save is priced at Sh100 per trip. Bolt has been having Bolt Lite with an average trip cost of Sh180 while Little Cab has introduced Little Economy with an average trip cost of Sh200.

The Uber Chap Chap service uses the 800cc Suzuki Alto with a consumption rate of 25km per litre but the drivers complain that the earnings are low. In July 2019 the e-taxi drivers had an 11-day strike, which led them to the Ministry of Transport and later to the Senate.

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