, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – Uber has come out to defend its pricing model in Nairobi following protests by driver partners.
General Manager of Uber Sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits says the company undertook the move with hopes of encouraging more people to take trips.
“By helping driver-partners stay busy, we hoped to improve the amount of money they make. And we saw an increase in the number of trips taken by new and existing riders and, in many cases, higher than average earnings for driver-partners,” Lits said in a statement.
“We have always promised that we would continue to monitor partner economics and if anything changed we’d reassess this price change. We stand by this promise and we are always reviewing partner economics to ensure drivers using the app continue to thrive.”
A section of drivers of the taxi-hailing app have been on strike since last week demanding higher rates.with
One driver who spoke to Capital Business said the prices are unsustainable, giving an example of the Sh300 rate from Westlands to Kiambu – a 15km distance.
Confrontations between protesting drivers and drivers that have continued to work turned ugly on Thursday as some of the working drivers were attacked and their cars defaced.
While acknowledging concerns raised by the drivers, Lits said the company remains dedicated to listening to its drivers and monitoring their economics.
“We take our relationship with cities very seriously. Which is why we always proactively engage with governments to ensure we can continue to provide an innovative transportation option that helps solve key transport challenges across Nairobi,” said Lits.