Digital taxi drivers seek 5pc cap on commissions

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Digital taxi drivers want the transport regulator to cap taxi-hailing service operators’ commissions at a maximum of five percent in a raft of proposals submitted to the Senate.

Through their lobby, the Digital Taxi Forum (DTF), the drivers also want the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to retain turnover tax at three percent and a further two percent levy paid to City Hall in lieu of business permits and parking fees.

The NTSA, through Digital Hauling Operator Regulation 2019 has proposed to cap the commissions at 15 percent.

Bolt, formerly Taxify, has increased the partner commission fee from 15 to 20 percent with effect from September last year while Little’s Corporate service is charging 19 percent after citing growing operating costs.

“We propose app operators commission to be capped at a five percent maximum; national government turnover tax at three percent while county government should get a two percent of our income for the Nairobi Metropolitan Services”, said DTF chairman John Kimani.

The proposed Digital Hauling Operator Regulations are currently before the Senate’s Committee on Labour and Social Affairs chaired by Johnson Sakaja.

The drivers want NTSA to discard the current seven-year vehicle age limit and be allowed to operate “as long as the vehicles have road worthiness certificates from the NTSA.”

They also want the regulations to compel app operators to allow drivers to join trade unions.

“Contracts signed between app operators and drivers must be contracts of service to allow drivers to join a union of their choice. This will allow them engage in a collective bargaining agreements for better terms and conditions of work,” say the drivers in their proposed changes.

The demands from the DTF comes after agency early this month began a countrywide public sensitisation forum on 15 percent capping by digital taxi operators.

The capping is set to benefit taxi partners who have for a long time decried the charges. The drivers further want digital hauling badge currently at Sh3,500) with annual renewal charges at Sh1,000 be commuted to an annual one-time fee of Sh500. They also want all cars to be fitted with security cameras, dashboard cameras or CCTV to help drivers record incidents while on trips. “This will help drivers defend themselves in case of fraudulent accusations and for the safety of both the driver and the rider(s),” it says.

On pricing, it proposes a commission comprising car owners, drivers, Ministry of Transport officials, representatives of app operatives, NTSA and the Automobile Association of Kenya (AAK) officials.

SOURCE: businessdailyafrica.com

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