Uber has now plunged the local taxi industry into an impasse that has rocked major cities across the world. The taxi hailing service is fast replacing the conventional taxi industry. The adoption of technology in Africa is usually slower as opposed to the global adoption rates, but with the arrival of Uber all signs point to the inevitable disruption of the status quo in the taxi industry in Kenya.
Uber in Kenya
Uber is now a popular alternative to using the conventional taxi. The app acts as a platform that connects commuters with Uber drivers. Our guide to Uber in Kenya covers everything on how to take advantage of the convenience that comes with using an Uber as a commuter.
Uber is basically a mobile phone app that is available for Android, iOS, and Windows. Behind this simple app is a highly efficient ride hailing service.
Uber is also the most valuable startup in the world. The company currently operates in 58 countries across the world and is valued at over $50 billion.
The app connects drivers with passengers directly, instead of looking for a taxi in the street. Using GPS, it detects your location and connects you with the nearest driver. The app texts you when the driver arrives and you can confirm the identity of the driver.
Uber charges the driver a commission that ranges from 5% to 20%.
The app will give you a fairly accurate estimate of the cost before you even board the car.
Unfortunately in Kenya, Uber is only available in Nairobi.
Uber is very popular because of a number of reasons that make it stand out from the competition. I have had a love-hate relationship with taxis in the past – mostly hate. The taxis in Nairobi, especially, are very rarely used by a large majority of the residents, and are only convenient during certain occasions only.
- Price: On average, an Uber is almost 50% cheaper than a taxi. It costs about sh.300 for an Uber from the Nairobi City Center to Westlands, as opposed to Sh.600 on a taxi.
- Convinience: It is easier to find an Uber than it is to find a taxi especially in areas where you are not sure of where to find taxis.
- Driver rating system on Uber allows the passenger to conveniently assess the quality of service received.
Uber has single-handedly destroyed some of the most established cab companies across the world, and Kenya and Africa at large can’t shield their local taxis from the inevitable.
How do you (taxi industry) react to the steady march of technology? Assimilate or die.