Push to regulate digital taxi commissions back in parliament

Regulations have been brought back to the National Assembly for scrutiny by legislators

A move to regulate commissions that Kenyan digital taxi drivers pay is back on track after it was put on the list of regulations reintroduced in Parliament.

The taxi commission regulations are on a list of 18 items submitted for Parliamentary approval. The regulations had been brought before 12th Parliament immediately before it broke for indefinite recess ahead of the August 9 election.

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula said some of the regulations were reintroduce following inauguration of the 13th Parliament.

The National Transport and Safety Authority regulations have set the ceiling on the commission the taxi operators can charge drivers at 18 percent per trip.

“A transport network agreement shall contain the followin- the commission which shall be paid by a transport network driver or a transport network owner to the transport network company, shall not exceed eighteen percent of the total earnings per trip,” the regulations note.

The commission by ride-hailing firms has been a source of friction in the sector with drivers saying the levies are not sustainable. The drivers had on a number of occasions gone on strike in protest of the commission.

This led NTSA to craft new regulations to cap the commission at 18 percent. Uber, has however gone to court against the new rules, saying they are inimical to investment and competition.

Uber charges 25 percent commission per ride, Bolt 20 percent and Little 15 percent respectively.

“The statutory instrument in question seeks to regulate the provision of Transport Network Services that are rapidly expanding and are offering new transport modes for individuals who have difficulty driving or accessing public transportation,” noted James Macharia, the Transport Cabinet Secretary in an explanatory memo to Parliament.

The taxi services industry is under under the Traffic Act and the Nairobi county taxicab by-laws.


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