Safaricom-backed taxi hailing app Little Ride has introduced a base fare of Sh100, barely two weeks after slashing its prices by a third.
The latest fee is currently effective in addition to the recently announced charges. Fares are also rounded up to the nearest 10.
Little Ride now charges Sh30 per kilometre down from Sh55 per kilometre in Nairobi and Mombasa.
During the announcement of the new rates two weeks ago, the firm left time charges unchanged at Sh4 per minute with no flat base charge or price surges like its main competitor, Uber.
“We have just matched the price of Uber and other players. Most of the providers are between Sh35 and Sh40 plus a base fare. So we just adjusted the price to what the market has set,” said Kamal Budhabhatti, founder Craft Silicon, the IT firm that developed Little Ride app.
He added that the number of trips by drivers enlisted on the taxi-hailing app has gone up by almost four-fold.
Little Ride launched in Nairobi in July and presently records about 3,500 journeys daily from its pool of about 1,600 active drivers. It is also ranked the second largest e-hailing app in Kenya.
American giant Uber remains Little Ride’s main rival locally. In July, Uber cut fares in Nairobi by a third, reducing the app’s per kilometre cost to Sh35 from Sh60, and lowered per-minute transit chargers to Sh3 from Sh4, but left the base charge intact at Sh100.
Little Ride’s entry in Mombasa in October saw Uber slash its prices a week later to position its services as the cheapest in the coastal region.
Uber reduced price per kilometre from Sh50 to Sh35, charges per minute from Sh5 to Sh3. Base fare was set at Sh50 from Sh80 while cancellation fee — effective after five minutes — was set at Sh150.