New fares designed to benefit users, drivers
By Ada Anioji
Uber, the technology-based transportation enabler has announced that it would be offering cheaper fares as part of a more affordable and convenient plan for Nigerians to move around from today.
Accordingly, Uber is dropping rates on UberX in Lagos by up to 40%. This means that not only will riders pay less for their trips but driver-partners will invariably earn more through increased demand.
‘Fare reductions are designed to help drivers by boosting demand so more people are requesting more rides through Uber, meaning drivers will spend more time with paying riders in the backseat and less time sitting idly waiting for a request,’ a statement from the organisation outlined.
It also underscored that ‘riders can expect the same quality experience at a more affordable price and driver-partners should also earn the same, if not more through increased rider demand.’
And for good measure Uber isn’t asking drivers to just take their word for it, they are providing temporary earning guarantees until it is clear that this will be the case. These earning guarantees help to ensure driver-partners, who put in the time, don’t lose out.
Driver-partners play a vital role as without them, Uber can’t help keep the people of Lagos moving. Uber is always talking with partners and taking their feedback on board. Regular focus groups have been held and fare reductions was raised by driver-partners based on the success of the reduced fares in Lagos in 2015. These cuts had resulted in an improvement in the volume of rides requested on the Uber app.
Alon Lits, General Manager at Uber Sub-Saharan Africa explains: “We always consider driver economics in each city that they operate in and after years of experience, what we‘ve seen in cities across the world is that lower fares mean greater demand, lower pickup times and more trips per hour — increasing earning potential and creating better economics for drivers.“
“We believe these changes will help, but while the city adjusts to the new prices, we are temporarily putting in place minimum earnings guarantees for driver-partners to ensure they don’t lose out. Should those drivers, who put in the time, make less than they usually would during this time, we will provide them the difference. However these lower prices are not always permanent and operational expenses and partner economics are closely monitored. In the unlikely event that the lower prices don’t result in driver-partners making the same or more, Uber will rethink the fare reductions,” Lits further outlined.
Since Uber’s launch in Lagos in 2014 and in Abuja in March 2015, the firm has enabled over 1000 economic opportunities. Everyday, thousands of Nigerians use Uber to get across Lagos and Abuja.
The statement commended the overall response to Uber in Nigeria from its inception as having been simply amazing, reassuring that ‘Uber is committed to providing a service that benefits both riders and driver-partners. Price cuts boost demand so more people are requesting more rides with Uber, meaning drivers will spend more time with riders in the backseat and less time sitting idly waiting for a request.’
Uber also recently reduced their service area from where riders can request trips, to make sure that there is more reliability in the core areas of Lagos. This smaller service area means more reliable rides when riders need them. Uber wants to ensure the Uber app is efficient and seamless for drivers and ensuring that there are not so many dead kilometers for drivers between trips.
“We respect driver-partners as valuable partners with a voice and a choice and we want driver-partners to feel they can talk to us about anything at any time. We have notified drivers about the upcoming fare reduction through dedicated workshops and focus groups to ensure drivers understand the temporary earning guarantees we have put in place. We’re committed to making trips through the Uber app the most comfortable, affordable and safe way for riders to move around and our experience shows us we can make that happen while making Uber the best possible option for driver-partners to earn a living,” adds Lits.
Fare reductions are being implemented based on, in part, driver-partners’ requests and Uber will monitor partner economics on a daily basis as well as host a once weekly focus group for driver-partners to attend should they have any questions about this fare reduction. Uber is all about making sure people have a safe, reliable, affordable and convenient way to get from A to B. With these changes, Uber hopes even more people in Lagos will use the Uber app to get to where they need to be.
Uber’s mission is to help people get a ride at the push of a button – everywhere and for everyone. We started in 2009 to solve a simple problem – how do you get a ride at the touch of a button? Six years and over a billion trips later, we’ve started tackling an even greater challenge: reducing congestion and pollution in our cities by getting more people into fewer cars.
The Uber network is now available in over 475 cities in over 75 countries spanning 6 continents. To request a ride, users are required to download the free application for Android, iPhone, Blackberry 7, or register for Uber at www.uber.com/go.