Uber locks horns with NTSA over rules capping earnings

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Taxi hailing firm Uber has protested against government plans to cut its commissions from fares by more than 40 percent, saying the move threatens earnings.

Uber Country Manager Brian Njao told Business Daily that the National Transport and Safety Authority’s (NTSA) plans to cap the commissions for taxi hailing firms at 15 percent of the fares will derail growth. Commissions are a fraction of the fare taxi firms take, meaning the proposed rule will leave less to the companies.

Uber charges 25 percent commission, a fee that has been at the centre of disagreement with driver-partners over the last three years.

“Uber is not against the NTSA regulations; we believe that they will be effective in streamlining the sector. However, we are against the capping of the commission, it will cut our revenue and force the company to re-consider its investments into the country,” said Mr Njao.

The NTSA, the public transport regulator, is seeking public views on the regulations until tomorrow.

“No digital hailing service operator shall charge a commission of more than 15 percent per trip,” a section of the proposed regulations says.

“Digital hailing service operators are prohibited from levying or charging other charges, levies or fees over and above the commission.

Capping of the commission is set to be in favour of the taxi partners who have for a long time decried the charges, terming them unsustainable.

Uber, Bolt and Little platforms charge 25, 20 and 15 percent of the ride value or fare, respectively.

Bolt increased the commission from 15 to 20 percent while Little’s Corporate Service also raised it to 19 percent a fortnight ago.

The firms will also have to pay Sh500,000 while drivers will pay Sh1,500 for vehicle licence and Sh500 for renewal.

SOURCE: businessdailyafrica.com

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