July 13, 2018 / 3:24 PM / a month ago

Kenya Uber to keep fares unchanged for now following drivers' strike

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Uber’s [UBER.UL] business in Kenya said on Friday it will keep its fares unchanged for now, after associations representing taxi drivers in the country signed a deal giving guidelines for better fares and working conditions.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Uber is pictured during the presentation of their new security measures in Mexico City, Mexico April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Ginnette Riquelme

“As of today we will not be adjusting our fares as we are busy completing a deeper study of driver economics in light of the concerns and feedback that we have received from drivers to ensure that fares are correctly priced,” a spokesperson for Uber Technologies said in an email to Reuters.

The Digital Taxi Association of Kenya, representing more than 2,000 ride hailing taxi drivers, signed a deal on Wednesday meant to give drivers higher pay and better conditions.

The drivers told Reuters they thought the deal would cushion them in the event of falling fares arising from discounts companies offers to passengers. They had staged a nine-day strike seeking higher fares and better working conditions.

As in other markets, these ride hailing services in Kenya initially faced opposition and sometimes hostility from other taxi drivers.

Kenya is Uber’s second-largest market in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa. It competes mostly against its local rival Taxify, which has gained popularity in Nairobi in the past year and a half but does not disclose numbers of active riders and users.  

Writing by George Obulutsa. Editing by Jane Merriman

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