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Riders to pay more as Bolt, Uber increase fares

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E-hailing platform, Bolt

PEDPA calls for a collective evaluation of price review
• Drivers to commence strike Oct 26

Riders seeking e-hailing services from Bolt and Uber would have to pay more, as operators of these services have increased fares due to the operating costs that drivers incur.

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Uber had reportedly sent out emails to its UberX drivers to notify them of the upward review in fares. UberX is the economy option for many riders who want a private ride at the least possible cost.

Besides, Bolt sent out emails to riders on Monday, informing them of the increase stating that the hike was important due to overhead cost by driver-partners.

However, Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private-owners Association (PEDPA), an affiliate of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has condemned the increase by the operators stating that the drivers would embark on infinite strike action on Monday, October 26.

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Under the new price regime, Uber increased its minimum fare by 25 per cent, from N400 to N500. Uber’s base fare, previously N200, is now 10 per cent higher at N220.

For Bolt, it introduced a new base and minimum fare at N220 and N500 respectively for Bolt corporate and Bolt, compared to the initial base fare of N200, while the fare per kilometre increased slightly from N67 to N70 and fare per minute increased from N11 to N12.

According to the operator, the new corporate ride-type will feature our highest-rated drivers and will be restricted to those using in-app payment methods only (i.e. those paying by credit/debit card or via their Bolt Business account).

Although the amount charged per minute by Uber remains N11, the amount charged per kilometre for every trip has been increased by over eight per cent from N60 to N65. What this means is that Uber riders will now pay relatively higher fares on all UberX trips.

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For instance, an estimate shows that if a rider takes an Uber trip, which lasts 45 minutes and covers a distance of 17km, a time fee of N495, and distance fee of N1,105 will be charged.

Speaking with The Guardian, National President, PEPDA, Idris Oluwaseun Shonuga, described the price increase by Uber as a joke to make a mockery of the E-hailing Driver-Partners and lease partners community.

Shonuga queried, “how can Uber be fixing the price of our service without due consultation. Uber is not the owners of the services we are rendering under their platforms but E-hailing Driver-Partners, yet we are not privy to the contract of our service.”

Describing the situation as appalling, he asked, “How can someone be deprived of the ownership right of his or her service simply because he or she subscribes to the technological network of Uber. We are supposed to be partners in business, because we are the owners of Transportation supply on Uber platform and other platforms, we own our cars, we manage our cars and we also manage the customers (riders) yet we don’t have contractual obligations in the price of our service.”

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Shonuga complained that the prices of members’ services are being under devalued, which was why PEDPA was created as the united voice of the e-hailing driver-partners community to check the excesses of dictatorial app companies’ platforms as well as streamlining the e-hailing industry.

He said members would be going on infinite strike on October 26th by withdrawing all their services from the Uber platform and every other dictatorial app companies’ platforms.

“We want a collective evaluation of price review across all E-hailing platforms, where the price of Transportation service across e-hailing platforms will be uniform.

“We want to put an end to unhealthy competition between app companies at the detriment of e-hailing driver-partners’ labour investments because we work across all E-hailing platforms to stem this ugly trend, we need to stand our ground on this strike action to restore the dignity of labour in the e-hailing business space,” he said.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach out to Uber and Bolt were futile, as the firms did not pick their calls when contacted.

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