, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28- The online taxi company Uber has reduced its charges by 35 percent in Nairobi as more app-driven cab companies launch and expand in Kenya.
Uber has reduced charges per kilometre from Sh60 to Sh35 while the charges per minute have been reduced by 25 percent to Sh3 from previous Sh4.
“There are a lot of elements that calculate into a total fare. You have a base charge, a per kilometre and per minute. Apart from the last two we have reduced the minimum fare from Sh300 to Sh200,” Kenya’s General Manager Nate Anderson said during a media briefing on Thursday in Nairobi.
Uber may be responding to competition in the form of new entrants in the market challenging its current dominance.
Notably, Little Cabs – a partnership between Safaricom and Craft Silicon – launched earlier this month to lower cab fares than Uber.
Other global and local taxi hailing apps like Mondo Ride, Maramoja and Pewin Cabs have stepped up their presence in the country by recruiting more drivers and setting competitive rates,
However Anderson maintains that the reduction in their prices is not based on the new players in the market but is customer focused.
“Our move is not by any chance motivated by the competition. Our focus is customers and I think good competition will only be improvement in service provision to all customers in the market,” Anderson said.
Uber says the price cut aims to make its low-cost service under the UberX brand, more affordable for Nairobi residents and visitors.
He added that the move will not affect take home profits for drivers but will instead grow the demand hence more returns.