What you need to know:
- Association for Drivers Network chairman Khalifan Juma said the changes by Bolt were not realistic, claiming that most of their customers were individuals on the cash basis category
Dar es Salaam. Drivers and commuters using ride-hailing firms have asked the government to intervene as Bolt announced operational changes that were likely to pause vehicle availability for retail and cash passengers.
Bolt released a notice that indicated that starting yesterday (August 17, 2022), the service would only be available to corporate passengers.
The company said the change was a strategy to cope with the regulatory environment in which the government doubled fares and cut commissions collected by the ride-hailing operators.
The development also came after Uber suspended Tanzanian operations since April, protesting the new rules.
Association for Drivers Network chairman Khalifan Juma said the changes by Bolt were not realistic, claiming that most of their customers were individuals on the cash basis category.
“I guess most ride-hailing firms will collapse or exit the country just like Uber did,” he said.
“The government should look at this issue more keenly and see how to intervene and solve the problem,” he suggested.
Mr Juma noted that drivers were scheduled to meet with Land Transport Regulatory Authority (Latra) director general to request the authority to review the ride-hailing fares.
“If Bolt and other service providers want to continue operating, they should buy own cars, employ taxi drivers of its own unlike it is at the moment when it works as an agent to connect passengers with drivers. Not every Bolt operator has enough cash to run the business as most of us, wait for hand cash to buy fuel and operate.”
Some drivers of ride-hailing taxis including Bolt, Ping and Little Ride and Paisha stressed that if the government would not intervene, the business would be more difficult to run and almost imposssible to sustain on the market as the sector was still facing a lot of challenges including fares.
As the ride-hailing firms complain, drivers of ordinary taxis have a different view.
Mlimani City taxi driver Maige Ndege said that if possible the government should ban all ride-hailing firms for them to operate profitably.
“Since the ride-hailing firms started operating, our taxi business has not been profitable. The price has affected us so much,” he said.
A ride-hailing user Ms Hilda Mfanga the shift to corporate and cashless passengers will hinder a number of people from using the services.
“I suggest the authority to come up with other initiatives,” she said.
Latra issued a statement saying that it’s addressing the issues raised by the ride-hailing companies.