SMART ONLINE DRIVERS DECRY ILL TREATMENT BY APP HAILING COMPANIES
By Our reporter
Online taxi and cab operators under their umbrella body Smart Online Drivers Association (SODA) have called on the relevant authorities in the transport sector to reign on ride hailing companies operating in Uganda to stop exploiting them.
This call was made by the Association Chairperson Kenneth Maloko last Friday at their head offices in Kitintale, a Kampala suburb. “The issues that we want them to address include reduction of the commission rate from 25% of the money made per trip to 15% because this percentage does not make any business sense in our country due to the high prices of fuel and other expenses. Secondly, we want them to increase the fares from the current shs6000 to shs10000 per trip,” he said.
One of the drivers who also subscribes to the Association; Nicholas Wanyama said that the app owners only care about the comfort of the customers, and if a customer makes a simple compliant, they are deactivated from the app immediately and yet when they (drivers) complain to them, they are given a deaf ear, where he cited App companies like Uber, Bolt, Spesho just to mention but a few who mistreat them.
The association also called for the App companies to set up physical addresses within the country where they can always approach them to iron out the differences through dialogue, and to apply the same stringent measures when registering customers to limit robbing of their cars during the trips. We are the car owners and they are our partners with us so they should treat us well,” Wanyama said.
Maloko said that they are going to meet the Minister of Works Gen. Katumba Wamala, and the Lord Mayor this week to air out their grievances since they mostly operate within the city. “Right now we are financially ugly and we need government support just like it was given to teachers,” he said.
He also stated that the Association has 1000 members on board but those who subscribe to online app companies are about 3000.
Kateme Janat, the Vice Chairperson SODA said that there are over 150 women who subscribe to the Association, but have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic where many of them have had to close down the business since usage of ride hailing apps have dropped since march when the lockdown and curfew was initiated. ff