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Fares rise as digital taxi drivers go on strike

Striking Uber drivers
Striking Uber drivers at Uhuru Park on March 2, 2017. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Taxi drivers switched off their e-hailing apps on Tuesday resulting in fare surges up to two times higher than normal.

A trip to the NHIF building in Upper Hill, Nairobi, ranged between Sh270 on Uber Chap Chap to Sh410 on UberX, while Taxify charged between Sh450 and Sh550 at 2.30pm. At that hour of day, the trip usually costs between Sh170 and Sh200.

The wait time for the vehicles was also as high as 16 minutes within the City Centre while in Westlands, some users were unable to get vehicles

“We are aware of a small group of e-hailing drivers who have chosen to go offline today. Drivers are diverse in how they use the Uber app and it would be difficult for an individual or group to holistically represent every driver on the app,” the Uber spokesperson told the Business Daily.

“Uber is aware of this (ripple effect to passengers) and is currently monitoring. Dynamic (surge) pricing is an automatic feature which encourages more driver-partners to come onto the app and cater for the demand. When demand and supply are in line, prices quickly return to normal.” The three-day strike which began yesterday largely affects Uber and Taxify.

“Our business is not affected. We have not seen any lower number of drivers in our online status. In fact our number of rides has gone up,” said Kamal Budhabhatti, Little chief executive.

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