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Digital taxis strike over rates dispute enters second week

Striking Uber drivers
Striking Uber drivers at Uhuru Park in Nairobi last week. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Industrial action by taxi-hailing app drivers in Kenya has entered its second week, continuing the protest over what they term as pitiable rates that have affected their bottom line.

The drivers and partners, who commenced the strike last Monday, said yesterday it would continue until Uber, Bolt, Mara Moja and Little work together to end the stalemate.

The strike has left companies and people that rely on the apps stranded for more than a week now and the rates, for the few available vehicles, over the roof.

Digital Taxi Forum chief-of-party Rhayan Kanyandong said that while Little and Mara Moja Transport had engaged the drivers, Uber and Bolt have not committed to solving the issue of depressed earnings.

Notably, Bolt scrapped the budget service Bolt Go but Mr Kanyandong said it was not long-term but another ploy to get the drivers back to work.

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“We just want the AA rates adopted to ensure that we are in a sustainable business, the commission reduced and the issue surrounding insecurity resolved. All we are seeking is a commitment from the app companies,” he said.

The drivers are also seeking to have upfront fares scrapped and called for the revaluation of the safety standards of the Suzuki Altos, Uber’s budget taxis.

The lobby states that the drivers fear for their safety and that of clients, alleging poor safety ratings that the Altos have previously received.

Last year, the drivers and partners went on a strike that lasted almost three weeks over the same complaints.

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