Taxi service continues to grow across Africa
By Ada Anioji
The newly introduced taxi service, Uber has revealed that more than one million trips have been made using its platform since its launch in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi in January 2015.
According to the firm those trips involved more than 1,000 local drivers earning money as a result.
It explained why it has become the fast-growing alternative, adducing that part of it had to do with its competitive pricing model:
‘The reason we offer such good value prices is because our advanced technology means there are fewer minutes wasted for drivers. With Uber, drivers don’t sit idle in a queue waiting for their next passenger. And they don’t travel as far, or as often, with an empty car.
Now we want to get even more business for our partners – by dropping prices by 35%. After years of experience, including in cities like Lagos in Nigeria, we have learnt that price cuts boost demand so more people request more rides with Uber, meaning drivers spend more time earning.
It’s a virtuous cycle. We can keep prices low for everyone, while maximising the amount of time drivers have a rider in the back seat.
Nate Anderson, Uber’s General Manager in Kenya, explains:
“We are committed to making Uber the most affordable and safest option to move around Nairobi. Our experience shows us we can make that happen while making Uber the best way for drivers to earn. This also means riders can ditch their car keys and travel with Uber more often. For some it will make Uber cheaper than owning a car. This means fewer cars on the road, less traffic, and fewer issues trying to find parking.”
In addition, to help drivers using Uber, Uber has also partnered with Total to provide some great deals on fuel. This partnership allows Nairobi driver-partners to receive a great discount off every litre of fuel and as an added extra they can get a power wash for KES200.
“We believe these changes will help, but while the city adjusts to the new prices, we are putting in place minimum payment guarantees for drivers to ensure they don’t lose out. And if the amount they make on the road isn’t what we expect, we’ll reassess this price change,” says Nate Anderson.
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 Nairobi will let Uber help them get where they need to be.