Weeks after a number of Kenya taxi drivers signed up to its app went on strike complaining over low fares, Uber has raised its charges in Nairobi and Mombasa.
Days into the strike and noticing that the drivers were not about to budge unless the fares were reviewed upwards, Uber on March 8 stated thus: “Some driver-partners have recently expressed concerns around their earnings in light of inflation and the increase in fuel prices. We have an incredible community of driver-partners and take our partnership with them very seriously. We are always listening to them because feedback is crucial to how we run our business. We are available to help our driver-partners improve the service they give their passengers and there are a number of ways they can let us know if they have any individual concerns.”
Then yesterday, Uber noted in a statement that its “strength is that it can move and adapt quickly, based on what works best for each city.”
An estimated 40,00 taxi drivers use the Uber app in Kenya, covering Nairobi, Thika and Mombasa.
“With six years experience, we have seen that pricing is all about achieving the right balance … ultimately, prices are designed to encourage more riders on the road, to help increase trips for drivers, but equally, you want to make sure the basic economics of drivers are sustainable.We believe any decision should be data-driven, using statistically proven methods to determine pricing. That is why we consider local conditions together with a pricing model that is tried and tested in 450+ cities across the world,” Uber noted while announcing the revised fares for Kenya.
“We have always promised to closely monitor driver-partner’s economics; keeping cognisant 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… That is why today at 11 AM, we are raising our prices in Kenya. 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.”
The company, which launched it services in Kenya in 2015 stated that it “works when both riders and driver-partners are benefiting,” noting that just as “riders need safe, reliable transport, drivers need to keep earning.”
According to the revised fares, customers in Nairobi will now be charged Kshs 42 per kilometre (up from Kshs 35) with a minimum fare of Kshs 300 (up from the previous Kshs 200). The base fare for Nairobi remains unaffected by the changes at Kshs 100.
In Mombasa, the minimum fare has also been increased to Kshs 42 from the previous Kshs 35 while the base fare has been increased by Kshs 20 from Kshs 50 to Kshs 70. The minimum fare for Mombasa is also up from Kshs 150 to Kshs 150.