Taxi-hailing app company, Uber, has increased its prices in Nairobi and Mombasa by 20% as it seeks to achieve the right balance between drivers and customers. The company raised fares to Sh300 from previous Sh200 in Nairobi and fare per kilometer from Sh35 to Sh42.This comes after a section of Uber drivers went on strike last month to demand higher rates claiming that they were getting low profits.
Attributing their strength as a technology company to the ability to move and adapt quickly based on what works best for each city, Uber says their new pricing structure is designed to encourage more riders on the road and to help increase trips for drivers.
“We have always promised to closely monitor driver-partner’s economics; keeping cognizant of how inflation and fuel prices can affect drivers using our app. We continue to stand by that promise because Uber succeeds when our partners succeed,” the company said. “We believe driver partners will earn more as a result of these changes and that riders will continue to enjoy access to a safe, affordable and reliable service,” it continued in a statement.
Uber said it believed any decision on pricing needed to be data-driven, using statistically proven methods to determine pricing. It further claimed to have considered local conditions together with a pricing model used in more than 450 cities across the world.
The company has been facing pressure from it’s drivers who last month submitted a petition to the National Assembly Transport Committee chaired by Hon. Maina Kamanda. Another petition to the same committee by members of the Kenya Taxi Cab Association, who asked the MPs to come up with a way to regulate the sector, didn’t make matters better either. It continues to face protests by taxi drivers in cities across the world over its business model and the impact it is having on the traditional taxi business, most recently a demonstration in Johannesburg, South Africa.
So make sure you have at least Ksh.300 on you next time you hail for an Uber in Nairobi.