BER’s recent move to lower tariffs in Nairobi proves the point that choices have consequences. First did UBER drivers go slow as a sign of active dissent over the move, which cut their income considerably, prompting the company to pay top ups. On the competitive scene did other cabs and cab hailing Apps companies however copy the move and also lower fares, putting the game at level par again.
Taxify, already one of the leading providers of App based cab hailing services, lowered their tariff from the previous 50 Kenya Shillings per kilometre to 40 Kenya Shillings and while at face value higher than UBER’s 35 Kenya Shillings, this fades away as Taxify claims it does not surcharge their clients, something UBER does with rush hour based fare surges.
In addition has Taxify now halted the indiscriminate signing up of drivers and insists on tests and quality controls for cars and drivers, which includes drivers training, aimed to improve the quality of services all round. 600 drivers are now reportedly on the books of Taxify already and over a thousand more are being vetted before coming on board over the coming days and weeks.
Next after Nairobi will Taxify according to information received also enter the market in Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru, giving other Apps based cab hailing services a run for their money.
Beneficiaries are at present the users of such services as tariffs are at a record lows and by the look of it will remain at such levels, while the companies fight it out to achieve greater market share and seek to enter profitability territory.
Also in the game is the Safaricom backed Little Cab company which cars offer free WiFi for clients – Safaricom is Kenya’s leading telecoms and mobile money company – as are MondoRide, MaraMoja and Dandia, the latter two purely local upstarts using the latest Apps technology to hail rides.
In addition do Nairobi’s leading hotels offer limo services for airport pick ups and drop offs as well as being at client’s disposal for trips into or across the city, normally at a cost of course which however can be charged to a guest’s room account which is then settled on check out without the need to constantly carry cash to pay for rides. Hotel limo’s and courtesy cars also have the advantage of the drivers having been thoroughly vetted by the respective hotels, giving guests peace of mind as to their own safety and security.