Earlier today digital taxi drivers downed their tools in protest against what they claim is poor and exploitative pricing by the dominant taxi app companies. The drivers had previously protested in July citing the same reasons, which resulted in a deal whose terms the drivers claimed have been ignored.
The drivers said that Uber and Taxify are active contributors in aggressions between taxi drivers and vehicle owners through the imposition of low fares. The price wars between the two companies have led them to drive prices down in order to gain majority share of users at the expense of the drivers. The drivers say the prices charged are unsustainable, particularly in light of the recent increase in VAT on fuel.
Secretary of the Digital Taxi Forum, Mr. Wycliffe Alutalala said, “nowadays, many prefer taxi because the charges they get are more favorable than public transport.” He, however, clarifies that they are not interested in carrying every other person, but would prefer to carry customers willing to foot the charges stated in the July MOU.
He adds, “Taxi is a luxury transport and those who want to take this option should be prepared to pay for it. As investors in this industry and key stakeholders, we say no to more oppression by digital apps.”
The Ministry of Transport had initially agreed to sign a MoU with digital taxi drivers after a lengthy meeting to iron out grievances that saw them down their tools.