13 September 2017

Kenya: Another Kenyan Firm Takes on Uber With Online Taxi App

A Kenyan tech firm has launched the second local online taxi hailing platform which seeks to lure drivers by charging them a flat monthly rate instead of the commission earnings charged by the current operators.

The platform dubbed ShareCab will charge a fee of Sh2,000 per driver, as opposed to the other taxi-hailing platforms that take a percentage commission from the drivers' total earnings.

The platform will also allow passengers heading in the same direction to share a taxi. The platform's charges for a lone rider are set at Sh30 per kilometre, Sh4 per minute and a base fare of Sh100.

The shortest ride will cost Sh250. Only the base and minimum fare will be cost-shared among the passengers.

"My motivation was to create a platform where costs can be drastically reduced for customers, in a combination that was smart, and also improved on our carbon footprint," said Virscom founder and chief executive officer, Mwakio Ngale.

"At the end of the day, every shared ride will make a better environment for our kids."

ShareCab, available on Google play store, will give the first customer the opportunity to choose who to share the trip with, a feature they say allows the first rider to vet the other passengers requesting to ride-share.

The app also has a panic button for the rider whenever they feel their lives are in danger.

The new app comes at a time when drivers affiliated to local taxi hailing companies including Uber and Taxify have boycotted the platforms citing poor returns and high commissions charged on their earnings.

Uber drivers, who pay 25 per cent commission, are pushing to have the fee reduced by half or more.

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