Why we increased our fare — Uber

Uber Nigeria has explained that its new fare regime will provide better earnings for driver partners and remain affordable for commuters. The Ride-hailing platform had on Tuesday increased fares on UberX. UberX is the most popular private car service that Uber has to offer. It’s commonly referred to as the “low-cost option” for riders. In an email forwarded to our correspondent by the firm in charge of Uber’s Communications, JNPR, it said the new fare structure was to enable the firm to invest in a technology system that would keep riders and drivers safe on the road.

It added that the fare increase allowed it to invest in a feature on the app known as injury protection which would make riding easier, according to mail addressed to The PUNCH by the communication assistant for JNPR, Michelle Tsamba.

It said, “After implementing a number of driver roundtables and in-depth earnings reviews to gather drivers’ feedback and insights on current operating conditions, we made the decision to increase uberX fares in Nigeria as of Tuesday, 6 October 2020.

“A minimum fare will now cost N400 to N500, while the fare per kilometre has been increased from N60 to N65 and base fare increased from N200 to N220.

“We believe that this small increase will still make it possible for riders to access affordable transport whilst providing better earnings for driver partners.

It added, “The new fare structure means that we can invest even further in Uber’s new and existing technology – with improvements that we’ve recently introduced to help keep riders and drivers safe on the road.

“They include info in-app, mask verification, safety checklist, a new health and hygiene feedback system as well as providing drivers with masks and sanitising reimbursements, and reimbursements to PPE.

“With injury protection on trip for both riders and drivers and the safety tools in the Uber app, riders and drivers are able to enjoy every ride with more peace of mind to keep you connected and protected.”

The ride-hailing app also explained that it did not deactivate drivers impulsively but maintained strict community guidelines that informed how riders and drivers conducted themselves.

It stressed that  Uber’s standard service fee was 25 per cent which covered the cost of running the Uber app.

It noted that the service fee was utilised to provide drivers with dedicated support from various support channels.

The e-hailing firm said the Uber business was a collaborative business model which allowed driver partners access income-earning opportunities that were out of reach just a few years back.

It promised to ensure that the fares were correctly priced.

Meanwhile, the President of the Professional e-Hailing Drivers and Private-Owners Association, Idris Oluwaseun, has said that drivers should have been consulted before the increase.

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