Mobile taxi company Uber’s pricing model has come under scrutiny in Kenya following violent protests by dissatisfied Nairobi taxi drivers over Uber’s perceived uncompetitively low fares, which threaten the survival of other taxi operators.

Uber drivers have recently been attacked and intimidated by other taxi operators in Nairobi, putting the lives of customers at risk.

Uber allows clients with a smartphone to submit a trip request, which is routed to Uber drivers in close proximity to the client. The Uber driver then use their own car to provide the service and the client pays via their mobile phone.

While Uber’s innovative, convenient and low priced service has been welcomed by some residents in Nairobi, the service has been widely criticised by the city’s taxi operators.

According to reports, the Kenya Taxi Cab Association has demanded that the company should withdraw its operations from Nairobi until authorities intervene.

Capital FM reports that the Association’s Organising Secretary Job Nzioka said the Uber services are only cheaper because they are not subjected to hefty levies imposed by authorities, which include monthly parking fees, inspection fees and a host of other charges.

However, Uber spokesperson Samantha Allenberg has offered an olive branch to the protesters. According to Capital FM News, Allenberg said Uber has been engaging with various taxi associations since last year, in a bid to resolve the contentious issues.

In a bid to resolve the prevailing squabbles, Uber has reportedly noted that the taxi business should not be about Uber or Taxi, “but rather Uber and Taxi”.

Source: Capital FM