Uber Shuts down Nairobi Office over unruly Drivers .. Drivers now Crying foul

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Picture : Uber driver Simon Mutembi breaks down before the Parliamentary Committee on Transport yesterday

Embattled taxi-hailing company Uber has vacated its representative office in Nairobi in what is linked to failure to contain last week’s strike by its drivers.

It emerged the firm was forced to leave its office at The Mirage in Westlands by the landlord, Uber vehemently denied the allegation it was forced out.

Sources at the building said the landlord issued a vacate order to Uber over the weekend after the striking drivers became unruly on Friday forcing other businesses to shut down.

“We would like to confirm that our offices at the Mirage have not been closed,” Uber spokesperson said via email to the Star.

Uber conducts training lessons for its drivers at The Mirage, a newly built cosy office block in Westlands, Nairobi.

Drivers who tried to access the premises yesterday were turned away by security guards.

“I wanted to inquire about my account details but I have been told to wait for a week until Uber finds another office,” an Uber driver said.

A section of Uber taxi drivers have been on strike since last Monday demanding higher rates.

The drivers marched to Parliament on Thursday demanding fair operation and the revision of rates.

The Uber taxi platform calculate fares based on distance covered and time spent. The price is Sh30 for every kilometre covered and Sh4 per minute, in addition to a base fare of Sh100.

The San Francisco-headquartered taxi e-hailing giant also has price surges, where it increases rates by a multiple, say 1.5 times, in the event that demand cannot be met by the number of cabs in service.

“We remain committed to talking with all relevant stakeholders, including policymakers, to ensure that driver-partners using the app continue to thrive,” the spokesperson said.

Uber launched its services in Nairobi in January 2015, and has since branched into towns including Mombasa and Thika.

It reduced fares by a half in July last year in a moved aimed to encourage more riders to use the platform.

“At the time we promised that we would closely monitor the impact of the price cut on partner economics, and we stand by that promise,” it said.

Posted in Business, News, Top Stories

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