Taxify Kenya Introduces a fare hike, albeit for a short while
Taxify Kenya has hiked its fares. This comes barely two months after the ehailing company introduced a 15% price reduction. This translated into a reduction of prices per kilometer from Ksh. 30 to Ksh. 35. The latest increase is, nevertheless, temporary since the company has promised to present a new fare structure by end of March.
The Estonian-based taxi hailing company has announced that it is implementing new fare rates that translate into slightly higher fares. The price per kilometer has been increased from Ksh. 26 to Ksh. 32. Also, the company has introduced a Ksh. 250 minimum fare. But there are some constants: the Ksh. 75 base fare and Ksh. 2.3 per minute rate.
The company has, however, assured its customers that the new fare structure is temporary and that a new one will be introduced by end of March.
This comes shortly after Uber did the same after agreed to hike its fares following mounting pressure from its driver partners.
The important question to ask is whether the new fare structure will be lower or higher than the current structure. It is prudent to assume that the new structure will introduce higher rates. It makes more sense for the company to ensure that its customers brace themselves for such changes. In most cases, thus is done if the changes are not exactly favorable. Regardless, we can only wait to see what the company has in store in less than two weeks.
The taxi-hailing company set up operations in Kenya in mid-2016. The company was among other new entries such as Mondo Ride and Mara Moja. Easy Taxi had been operating as a traditional hailing company but it closed shop after it was bought by Safaricom and rebranded as Little Cabs.
The new Taxify Kenya rates are definitely lower than what big players such as Uber are charging. At the moment, Uber is charging a minimum fare of Ksh. 300, Ksh. 100 base fare, and Ksh. 42 per kilometer (in Nairobi).
Price wars by ehailing companies are not new to Kenya taxi industry. Last year, Uber slashed its fares by 35% in an effort to maintain a dominant position in the market. As expected, this did not auger well with driver-partners who accused the Silicon Valley Company of ignoring their welfare since the fare reduction affected their earnings.
Perhaps, the Uber and Little Cab battle to dominate the streets of Nairobi has been the most prominent since Safaricom introduced Little Cab. The latter was launched in July last year and its pricing system significantly cheaper than that of Uber. This is why Uber slashed its taxi fare prices by 35%.
At the moment, there are very many ride-sharing apps in Kenya and that leaves us spoilt for choice. This is definitely a good thing for us since we are the beneficiaries of the unending price wars.
We can only hope that the prices will not shoot up significantly since Taxify Kenya has been known for its competitive prices in the market.