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Uber, Bolt and Little drivers demand commission cut


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Uber, Bolt and Little drivers demand commission cut


Uber self-driving cars are on display at the Uber Advanced Technologies Centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. FILE PHOTO | AFP

Taxi drivers signed up on Uber Kenya, Little and Bolt platforms Thursday went on strike in a bid to push the firms to lower the commission charged on fares.

Uber charges a 25 percent commission per single ride, while Bolt and Little platforms charge 20 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

A host of drivers who spoke to Business Daily said they will not accept rider requests from the digital taxi-hailing firms across the country until their demands, which also include insecurity are addressed.

“It’s unfortunate that we are still operating with the same price yet the cost of fuel per litre has gone up in the last few months,” the chairman of Organisation of Online Taxi Drivers and Digital Taxi Association of Kenya Zachariah Mwangi told Business Daily Thursday.

Fuel costs in Kenya have shot up significantly over the past year, with petrol currently retailing at Sh178.3 per litre in Nairobi.

Ride-hailing app Bolt told Business Daily it was aware of the strike by its drivers, and its currently working with them to offer a better solution to the problem.

“We are aware of the drivers’ strike and we respect their right to peaceful demonstrations,” said the firm adding that discounts offered by the firm benefit drivers.

“The discounts that we offer ensure that the drivers are connected to a sufficient number of riders in order to make greater earnings. These discounts do not affect drivers’ take-home earnings as they are covered by Bolt.”

Little also confirmed that it was aware of the strike insisting that its drivers were working yet this was not the case.

“Little drivers are working. Maybe some are not working in some areas because they are scared,” said the firm Thursday.

“We have good support from our drivers. Yes, of course, there will be drivers who would not be working today. But we are not facing any major challenges.”

Also read: Little, Uber differ on driver charges cap commission charge

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) on June 20 published regulations to cap commissions charged by digital taxi operators in the country on drivers at 18 percent per trip.

Uber, however, has gone to court seeking to suspend the regulations.

“All ride-hailing app in Kenya must adhere to the law before they can be allowed to work. Regulations were supposed to take effect on September 22 and it is unfortunate that they have not complied to date,” Mr Mwangi of the association said.

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