Cab Drivers Announce a Looming Strike

Taxi drivers who use the digital ride-hailing services Uber and Bolt have called a strike that will begin the next week in protest of what they claim are excessive commission fees levied by the companies.

According to the Organization of Online Drivers, beginning Monday, drivers will stop making reservations for passengers through the two applications.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (Transport Network Companies, Owners, Drivers and Passengers) Regulations, 2022, which set a cap on the commissions the companies can charge at 18% per trip, were allegedly not implemented by Uber and Bolt, according to the drivers.

Instead, Little Cab, Hava Cabs, and Yego Mobility will be used to make passenger reservations, according to their chairman Justin Nyaga.

Charges for Bolt and Little Cab are correspondingly 20% and 15%.

While Uber reduced the commission, according to Mr. Nyaga, it violated the rules by raising its booking fee from 4% to 11% each trip, effectively negating any benefits the drivers could have anticipated from the reduction in commissions.

Uber has reduced the fee it charges on fares from 25% to 18% in order to abide by the regulations.

The companies receive a one-year license that is renewed once the NTSA determines they have complied in order to increase compliance with the new standards.

As Kenya's online taxi industry expands rapidly, setting the fee charged to drivers at 18% was hailed as a positive step in helping drivers earn more per trip.

Although it acknowledged knowledge of the impending drivers' strike, Uber claimed it was working with them to find a solution.

In September, Uber expanded its ride-hailing services to eight cities in East Africa by launching them in Eldoret, Kisumu, Naivasha, and Nakuru.


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