Digital taxi operators strike deal to end go slow


Digital taxi operators strike deal to end go slow

In Summary

  • In the deal, digital app taxi providers will now employ systems that will ensure fair pay to both drivers and owners, without setting a fixed fare base for the sector.
  • The deal mediated by the ministry of transport sought to end the on going go slow in the sector from last week, with digital taxi drivers demanding better pricing terms.
  • The move is expected to bring to an end an ongoing go slow that saw passengers relying on digital taxi hailing app pay more to use the services due to few cars on the road.

Digital taxi operators and their platform providers have signed a deal which they say will guide pricing in the sector.

In the deal, digital app taxi providers will now employ systems that will ensure fair pay to both drivers and owners, without setting a fixed fare base for the sector.

The deal mediated by the ministry of transport sought to end the go-slow in the sector from last week, with digital taxi drivers demanding better pricing terms.

“Pricing will only change when there is sufficient consultation, no fixing this is a dynamic industry, and there will always be changes and new entrants,”said Prof. Paul Maringa, Transport PS.

“We will not be seeing any fights over pricing or anybody forcing prices over anyone’s throat,”he added

The two parties also agreed that price consideration per kilometre will be guided by average operating vehicle cost and classification.

“In the past, there has been arbitrary setting of prices but in this memorandum we have systems which good prices can be arrived at,” said Dr. Dennis Tongo is Fone Taxi.

The providers will also ensure operators access relevant information monitored by National transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Nairobi Transport and Safety Committee on a quarterly basis.

“This is a sector that is growing and we certainly need some minimum standards. We are happy to arbitrate and what we don’t want is chaos in the city,” said Transport CS James Macharia.

“My only prayer is that the app providers this time round be honest, this document is not just a paper, its a binding document,”said  Wycliffe Alutalala, Secretary of PUTON, which represents matatu drivers.

The move is expected to bring to an end an ongoing go slow that saw passengers relying on digital taxi hailing app pay more to use the services due to few cars on the road.

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Story By Dennis Otieno
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