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Kenya asks Uber to increase taxi charges

Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera

The Government has taken sides with Uber drivers by petitioning the American-based taxi-hailing company to revise its fares upwards.

Uber have until Wednesday to present a revised fare regime and offer a better welfare package to be negotiated between them and the drivers at the Transport ministry.

“In August 2016, Uber effected a 35 per cent price reduction from their previous fares and as a result the drivers’ revenues were significantly impacted. This revenue loss to the drivers has in fact almost driven some of the drivers out of business,” Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera said.

In a press statement issued Monday, the Government blamed the decision last year by Uber to cut fare prices by 35 per cent, which it said had a negative bearing on drivers’ earnings and almost pushed them out of business.

He said the Transport ministry wanted Uber to critically audit its pricing mechanism so as to address current and future differences. Mr Nyakera said the Government had recommended ‘bare minimum’ collateral to both parties to get them to dialogue.

Sources privy to the talks however said the drivers were urged to stop picketing and instead come to the table to negotiate with their business partner.

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The drivers riotously petitioned Parliament last week for a fare determination structure that sets the minimum cost of journeys to various estates in the city. They also want concession terms on the 25 per cent the American firm charges on commission.

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