The Digital Taxi Forum (DTF) and the Digital App Taxi Providers (DATP) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) ending the nine-day taxi drivers’ strike over unsatisfactory pay.
The new agreement between the parties could see taxi users pay more to get around as taxi drivers enjoy a better pay.
DTF includes Digital Taxi Association of Kenya (DTAK), Rideshare Sacco Society (RSS), and Public Transport Operators Union (PUTON) while the DATP include Uber, Pewin Cabs, Taxify, Little Cabs, and Fone Taxi.
According to the 2-year MoU, “price considerations per KM by DATP will be guided by the average operating vehicle cost and classification of vehicles as provided by the Automobile Association (AA) guidelines.”
The AA rates stand at Sh26 per kilometre for vehicles with an engine capacity from 850cc to 1050cc, Sh42 per kilometre for 1050cc to 1300cc, Sh45 per kilometre for 1300cc to 1500cc, and Sh58 per kilometre for 1500cc to 1800cc vehicles.
Uber, which prefers vehicles with large engine capacities, has been charging Sh16 per KM for Uber ChapChap and Sh27 per KM for UberX. Therefore, price rates for Uber are likely to increase to more than Sh42 considering the base fare set and the minute rates.
David Muteru chairman of Digital Taxi Association of Kenya said after the signing of the agreement:
“All that we were looking for, we have been given. All the drivers are now happy. And everybody will now go to work.”
The Association represents over 2,000 ride-hailing taxi drivers.
The MoU now protects the drivers from unpredictable price changes that affect their income. “We agreed that nobody can change the pricing unilaterally. The process should be consultative and cushion drivers. A rapid response system is to be set up for rescue and security of drivers,” said transport Principal Secretary Prof Maringa.
Aggrieved Taxi Drivers
Taxi drivers using ride-hailing apps have suffered under the competition among app providers as each tried to outdo the other in offering affordable prices to customers.
Uber has been taking the highest commission of 25 per cent while TaxifyGo and Little take a 15 per cent commission.