Under pressure Uber agrees to pay drivers better

Information was confirmed overnight that Uber, under pressure from car owners and drivers contracted by them, over the recent radical slashing of fares, has now given in to demands to raise their pay in Kenya.

Should drivers on call fail to get rides during peak hours, they will receive between 450 and 500 Kenya shillings as a top up from Uber, clearly in response to growing unease by car owners/drivers with obligations to pay off car loans and now faced with drastically-slashed fares and sharply increased competition through new web-based cab hailing services. Rates for rides dropped from 60 Kenya shillings to 35 Kenya shillings last week as reported here at the time.

Uber also suspended signing up more drivers for the time being, again in response to competitive pressures and to give their contracted drivers a break not to further raise competition from within. Terms and conditions apply, reportedly to qualify for the top up, such as having accepted at least 90 percent ride requests since they joined Uber, being on duty for given periods and at least make a trip every two hours.

Claims by Uber that the tariff revision in Nairobi was not caused by increased competition though, were met with incredulity and have put a dent into the otherwise above average PR performance of the company until now.