– A demonstration being planned on Tuesday could see several Nairobi roads experience traffic jams
– Uber’s 1,000 Kenyan drivers are planning to take to the streets with their taxis to demonstrate new changes introduced by the American firm, that they say will affect them negatively
Nairobi CBD could on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 experience traffic snarl-ups if a peaceful a demonstration planned by Uber drivers goes as planned.
The company’s over 1,000 drivers are planning to hold a protest and block roads with their taxis to air their grievances, as they are apparently inconvenienced by the recent slashing of prices by 35%, effected last week by Uber.
A driver who sought anonymity and will be participating in the demos said they will convene on Monday August 1 at Karura Forest and finalise plans for the demos.
They have reportedly already received the licenses to hold the demos from the police and the Nairobi City Council.
Uber Kenya country manager Nate Anderson, at the media briefing on the new developments on Thursday, July 28 in Nairobi, said the changes aimed at boosting their business locally would shield drivers from losses, but it seems the drivers are seeing it differently.
“We believe these changes will help, but while the city adjusts to the new prices, we are putting in place minimum payment guarantees for drivers to ensure they don’t lose out. And if the amount they make on the road isn’t what we expect, we will reassess this price change,” Anderson had said.
Clients may experience difficulties reaching Uber drivers on Monday and Tuesday due to the demo.
“If Uber clients cannot reach us easily on Monday and Tuesday it will be because we will be engaged with the demo activities. Uber did not consult us before making this decision that has really inconvenienced us. The company is still taking its percentage from each trip, leaving us with very little. Some of us took loans to buy top-condition cars required to register with Uber, and now the returns are very little,” he lamented.
Another Uber driver told Tuko.co.ke that they are aggrieved by some of the new regulations given by the company, such as being required not to go offline for 10 hours straight.
“One cannot even rush to attend to a personal errand such as a doctor’s appointment as they may be requested by a client if they remain online. We are told that if one goes offline, they lose their KSh 450 per hour incentive. They should also not be stationery and should be driving around Nairobi waiting for a request, consuming fuel, yet they have reduced the money we are making by slashing the trip prices,” he said.
The drivers complained that the internationally-based company has no phone lines to be reached, only requesting them to write to them on email, but are allegedly yet to receive responses on the issues.
Media Edge PR, the firm’s local media relations company, told us they would respond on the matter after consulting with Uber, whose regional offices are in South Africa.
The American online taxi-hailing firm beginning last Thursday reduced its prices by almost half, at a time when local competition is increasing.
A client now pays KSh 35 per kilometre from the previous KSh 60, and KSh 3 down from KSh 4.Short rides are now KSh 200, down from KSh 300.
Source : Tuko