On Tuesday, many Kenyan Uber drivers who had signed up with Uber in Kenya went on strike to protest price cuts.
Kenyan Uber drivers are not pleased with this cut. “We want them to bring back the original fares we used to have,” said Simon Mutembei, one of the drivers who marched to Uber’s offices in a Nairobi suburb.
“If they don’t do this we have other alternatives. We have so many other platforms where we can go. Because I need to eat. I need to feed my family,” another Uber driver said.
He added that the drivers were thinking about defecting to the competition, another cab hailing service in Nairobi which launched recently. The secretary general of Kenyan Taxi Digital Association, Peter Mbugua, who also acts as the group’s spokesperson stated that the drivers will defect to Little Cab hailing services if Uber does not respond by Tuesday afternoon.
Uber has made plans to cut the service fair by a 35% margin in order to make the service more appealing and more competitive against local taxi services which offer lower rates.
The American-based company which began operations in the East African nation in 2015 used to charge a fare of 60 shillings per kilometre and a waiting rate of 4 Kenyan shillings per minute. The rates have now been cut to 35 shillings per kilometre and 3 shillings per waiting minute.
Not only are the Kenyan Uber drivers protesting the slash in fees, they also want the taxi hailing service to reduce its income from driver’s earnings from the current 25% to 15%.
The Uber drivers strike in Nairobi has led to an increase in local taxi fares capitalizing on the protests.