Piercing of tyres, stoning, stopping and ejecting of riders from each and every possible taxi hailing car, were key highlights, that marked protests by drivers of; Uber, Little and Taxify. Along Kenyatta Avenue, a snarl up was experienced as angry drivers snaked their way to transport house from Uhuru Park, with the intention of presenting their grievances to key representatives of the Transport docket.
The drivers held the protests over the low rates charged by service providers, which have dented their commissions. This is according to the Digital Taxi Association of Kenya (DTAK).
Sources that spoke to Sakwah, say the drivers are working for around 20 to 27 shillings per kilometer, a fee that is way below the initial Ksh 60.
Currently, Taxify and Little cab charge 15 percent while Uber charges 15 percent. Last year in September, Uber was caught up in similar protests. As a result, they were forced to raise the prices of riders to Sh 42 per kilometer.
Analysts view the lack of a written agreement as a factor that has seen Uber lowering the prices every time.
In a statement Uber said: “We constantly monitor fares and examine rider price sensitivities to ensure fares are currently priced so that riders continue to take trips and drivers have access to a more fare paying passengers.”
The drivers say that the discounts which the companies offer are not the problem, as that is standard business practice. Their concern lies in not being consulted when such business decisions are undertaken. These discounts, low prices coupled with high commissions has seen their earnings affected adversely.
Poor working conditions
The drivers also highlighted poor working conditions that comprised long working hours (as long as 20 hrs) that left them vulnerable to criminal activities. This is as mentioned in their letter to the Ministry of transport.
Despite the reduction of working hours from 18 to 12 hours by Uber last month, the drivers want the issue of little pay to looked into.