Kenya online taxi drivers reach deal to increase fares after nine days of protests

The drivers protested low commissions despite working for long hours

In a move meant to accommodate the drivers' demand for better pay, the Automobile Association (AA) rates recommend Sh45 per kilometre for vehicles with engine capacity of between 1300cc to 1500cc and Sh58 per kilometre for 1500cc to 1800cc cars.

The rates currently stand at Sh26 per kilometre for 850cc to 1050cc vehicles and Sh42 per kilometre for 1050cc to 1300cc cars.

Taxi users will hence bear the brunt of increased fares as the adoption of the AA rates is expected to automatically lead to a rise in the cost of rides.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed yesterday between the Transport ministry and groups representing drivers working for taxi hailing firms brought to an end a nine-day strike after they protested poor pay.

Compensation

The drivers who use online taxi hailing apps claimed they don’t get better compensation from the service providers despite working for long hours.

Uber charges the highest commission at 25 per cent with riders paying Sh16 per kilometre for Uber Chap Chap and Sh27 per kilometre for UberX.

TaxifyGo charges Sh22 per kilometre and takes 15 per cent commission. Likewise, Little charges 15 per cent in commission, charging riders Sh35 per kilometre.

The apps also have a set base fare and minute rates for each service.

However, the MoU does not make it mandatory for digital taxi providers to set new rates.

Besides pricing methods, the agreement also laid out quarterly stakeholder meetings, conflict resolution and security measures that require taxi app providers to offer quick response to drivers in danger.

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