Uber and Taxify drivers have formed a digital taxi firm which will now rival their employers as battle for transport business hots up.
The service launched yesterday, named Bebabeba, joins the taxi hailing community that is increasingly becoming crowded and competitive by the day.Bebabeba Chairman Simon Njuguna said the firm, which will have operations countrywide, will revolutionalise the market.“As a company, we want to ensure the driver, client and the vehicle owners will always be happy, which is something lacking in the industry today,” he said.
This year has seen several strikes by drivers affiliated to online taxi firms over high commissions taken by the tech firms.Apart from the normal taxi services which will comprise vehicles with less engine capacity, Bebabeba will also have a family category comprising seven-seater vehicles.
The firm has also included a lifestyle account which is designed for VIPs, top executives and senior public servants who will have liberty to choose vehicles.The company has also designed a corporate account where various companies can open accounts for their employees for their travel needs.
“This account will be cost effective for corporates since they can have a capping of the amount of money they want their employees to use per month on travel,” said Mr Njuguna.There has been outcry from customers over fraudulent billing by rogue drivers, raising concerns over the ability of the automated platforms to protect consumers.The fraudulent taxi drivers use dummy apps that interfere with the GPS readings to create a parallel travel path that prolongs the journey and ultimately enables them to charge riders more.Jamaica Waweru, a Bebabeba director, said the firm has already roped in about 2,500 drivers with plans underway to get more than 6,000 drivers in the next six months.He said the firm will charge Sh25 per kilometre and Sh5 per minute. Their base fare will be Sh150.
The firm will retain 13 per cent of the fare with investors who take their vehicles to the firm paid a commission of 15 per cent per trip.“We are assuring our clients that we have put in place systems that will ensure prices are not manipulated by our drivers to their advantage,” said Mr Waweru.