Uber has responded to Nairobi taxi drivers who have voiced dissatisfaction over the low fares introduced by the global transport app service, and is urging co-operation.
Earlier this week, the Business Daily reported that the Kenya Taxi Cab Association (KTCA) was not happy about the pricing point of Uber taxis and protested the low fares.
Uber sent messages to their drivers to be cautious in certain areas after reports of intimidation emerged.
“These have been reports of isolated instances of intimidation, and we are working with relevant stakeholders in Nairobi to ensure this is resolved as a matter of urgency,” Samantha Allenberg, Communications Representative for Africa told ITWeb Africa.
“But more importantly our technology is open and pro-choice and we are keen to offer it to a broad number of taxi drivers. Many taxi drivers are already using our technology and we would welcome more who wish to join their colleagues,” she added.
The company said that they have been engaging with metered taxi associations since last year to find a way to partner with them. “We do not feel that it should be about Uber or Taxi, but rather Uber and Taxi,” Allenberg said.
She also said that many metered taxis are actually using their technology to boost their incomes and Uber welcomes more taxis.
The app service has come under fire in many cities globally for forcing the introduction of low taxi fares. This includes Nairobi, one of the service’s fastest growing markets.
Last year, the company introduced payment by cash to capture more of the market.
Allenberg said, contrary to reports in the media, that they do work with PSV licensed drivers and PSV insured vehicles.
“Driver-partners then undergo a background screening process where fingerprints are matched against existing criminal records. To make up for any gaps in local records, information is cross checked by one of the leading security companies in Nairobi. Reference checks are then done with upcountry chiefs, village elders, former employers, neighbours and social acquaintances,” Allenberg said.