After months of going back and forth between Uber and its drivers, the company has announced a 29% increase in prices effective Monday 26th August. This proposed price increase will affect both UberX and Uber ChapChap riders.

Uber Select, which has been the company’s premium option, is being scrapped off from the market. So there’ll now only be UberX and Uber ChapChap.

The UberX category will now be the premium option only enlisting cars with an engine capacity of above 1300cc. All cars below 1300cc will fall under Uber ChapChap category.

Unlike Bolt (formerly Taxify), Uber instead of doing away with the budget option, decided to increase prices, and instead do away with the premium option.

In the new model, drivers won’t be allowed to switch between the two categories like they could before. In the previous model, drivers were allowed to switch between UberX and ChapChap during peak demands to cash in on more rides.

Uber says in the notice to partners that the increase in rates will see drivers’ earnings rise significantly and the cost of trips go up by an average of about 26% for the UberX category, and 13% for ChapChap.

The official notice reads:

From Monday, 26 August 2019, Uber will be introducing changes to Uber ChapChap and UberX. These changes have been informed by your continued feedback and many months of thorough reviews on the growth and sustainability of your earnings opportunity.”

The base fares for both UberX and ChapChap will remain at KES. 85 and KES. 80 respectively, but the minimum amount of money you’ll pay for an UberX ride will now be KES. 200, and KES. 150 for a ChapChap.

Uber ChapChap vehicles will also now pay 25% commission on their first 15 weekly trips, and thereafter 3% on the remaining trips. Trips on Uber ChapChap will cost KES. 4 per minute, but this will rise to KES. 12 per minute after the trip exceeds 11 Kilometres.

Of course the announcement is good news for Uber drivers who’ve long complained about high operating costs. I wonder how Little Taxi, and other taxi apps will take the news.

However, my main concern is how customers react to the changes? Is Uber sure people will still prefer their services in a city where there’s options like SWVL bus sharing, and InDriver which allows for bargaining with Taxi drivers?

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