Uber introduces new premium service for Kenyan riders


Uber East Africa general manager Loic Amado. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Uber has increased charges for select vehicles driven by highly-rated drivers in what the taxi-hailing company says will give its customers a better trip experience.

The e-hailing firm, which says it has 5,000 drivers and 363,000 users on its Kenyan database, says the new product - dubbed UberSELECT - will cost riders a minimum of Sh300 per trip, compared to Sh200 charged by taxis on its other service, UberX.

The base fare for UberSELECT is Sh100 compared to UberX’s Sh80, while the charge per minute and per kilometre is Sh4 and Sh43 respectively. This is an increase from the Sh2.40 per minute and Sh33.60 per km currently charged.

“We believe our customers should be allowed more choice in the way they travel,” Loic Amado, Uber’s general manager for East Africa, said in a statement.

“This is the inspiration behind the introduction of UberSELECT, which is ideal on special events such as date nights and important business meetings,” he added.

Only experienced drivers who have completed over 300 trips, with a rating of 4.7 or above and who have the eligible vehicles will receive trip requests on the new service.


Some of the 20 qualified vehicle models include Toyota Axio (2010), Fielder (2010), Prius (2009), Sienta (2009), Noah (2008), Wingroad (2010), Subaru Forester (2008) Honda Airwave (2009) among others.

In other jurisdictions where Uber operates, the UberSELECT product is associated with “entry-level” luxury service with the vehicle list including models like BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi among others.

UberSELECT is ranked just below UberBLACK and UberSUV which offer customers more advanced luxury vehicles like BMW X3, Porsche Cayenne, Jaguar XF, Lincoln Navigator and Audi Q7 among others.

“Highly rated driver-partners in eligible cars will automatically receive both UberX and UberSELECT trips after we launch this new product October 5,” Uber told its drivers in an email.

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