Uber drivers up in arms over new fares

Drivers affiliated to the online taxi-hailing platform Uber Thursday protested against the new prices that came into effect on Thursday, claiming they were short-changed by the firm.

The drivers questioned why Uber adopted the Sh42 per kilometre instead of the Sh45 that the tech giant had tabled during negotiations that lasted three weeks.

On Thursday, Uber increased taxi prices in Nairobi and Mombasa after bowing to pressure from its drivers. In Nairobi, the firm increased prices per kilometre to Sh42, up from Sh35 and raised the minimum fare to Sh300 from Sh200.

The base fare and the per minute fee remains unchanged at Sh100 and Sh3 per kilometre, respectively.

In Mombasa, the price per kilometre went up to Sh42 while the minimum was increased to Sh200 from Sh150. The base fare was increased from Sh50 to Sh70.

“We have stood by the promise of closely monitoring driver-partners economics in light of how inflation and fuel prices have affected partner economics. We believe that the new fares provide a win-win scenario for both driver-partners and riders,” said East Africa Uber spokesperson Janet Kemboi.

The drivers also want the arbitration clause to be revised. On Wednesday last week, Uber sent out the document, which states that the relationship between the tech firm and the drivers will be governed by the laws of the Netherlands and any disputes arising are to be resolved in reference to it.

Uber, however, says that the driver-partners contract inclusive of the terms spelled out in the arbitration clause in Kenya has remained unchanged since September 2015.

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