Uber, the US-based taxi-hailing service, has suspended its operations in Tanzania effectively Thursday, April 14, until further notice.
This is despite new higher fares announced by the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (Latra). The App-based taxi service was launched in Tanzania on 15th June 2016.
In an email statement, the taxi firm said that current regulations in the transportation sector had created an environment that is not friendly and has been a challenge to its business.
Uber provides transportation services in the country through UberX, UberX Saver and UberXL services.
The Uber application is already operating in 80 countries worldwide – 11 in Africa.
Uber is suspending its operations in Tanzania after its Land Transport Regulatory Authority(LATRA) has approved higher fares after fuel prices jumped to record levels.
The Latra has reviewed the fares from TSh450 to TSh900 a kilometre.
“In view of the foregoing – and in efforts to maintain competition and affordable ride-hailing taxi services – the board at its 6th ordinary meeting held on January 27, 2022, approved the ride-hailing taxi services fares…,” Latra stated in an order dated March 14, 2022.
But insiders in the tax hailing business insist that their operational costs are still high.
Taxi-hailing operators also accuse Latra of shifting from its regulatory role to dictating commercial terms by doubling the market rates.
The regulator is accused of constantly threatening to suspend operator licenses, creating an uncertain and hostile business environment.
Latra has also capped the maximum commissions for the platform operators at 15 per cent – a move that the operators say is digging deeper into their pockets.
Drivers and operators feel that Latra’s involvement in a private business and regulating what clients will pay has created discomfort and uncertainty in the market.