Governor Sakaja meets Bolt founder a day after drivers threaten to strike

Just a day after drivers working with digital ride-hailing companies held demonstrations in Nairobi pushing for reduced commissions, Governor Johnson Sakaja held a meeting with Markus Villig, Founder and CEO, who is currently on a visit to the country.

On Thursday 16, Feb 2023, the RideHail Transport Organization, an association of digital taxi Saccos in Kenya issued a seven-day strike notice to the industry regulator, the National Transport and Safety Authority(NTSA).

The drivers are pushing the regulator to compel ride-hailing companies to reduce the commissions they are charged on each trip from between 23-29% to the legally-stipulated 18%.

The organization lamented that despite the passing of the Transportation Network Companies (TNC), Drivers, and Passengers Regulations 2022, there has been minimal compliance with its directives.

“We ask the Nairobi governor, Mr. Sakaja, to revoke the bolt licensed in Nairobi for it has not met all the sensitive regulations as gazetted. For instance, it does not have a physical office where drivers can reach them in case of a complaint or compliment,” Wycliffe Alutala, the organization’s spokesperson told journalists.

The push and pull between digital ride-hailing companies and drivers led to a love-hate relationship between stakeholders. Drivers say that the commissions charged are punitive, considering the rising cost of living.

“They are charging 29% commission way up from the NTSA capping of 18%. We have taxi-hailing apps in Kenya like Yego which hit the market recently but their commission is as low as 12%. We have no issues so far with such companies,” the Sacco representatives complained.

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