Uber, a global ride-hailing services company, has hit one billion trips in Africa since entering the market less than 10 years ago. It has completed over 10 billion kilometres of trips on the continent.
The company is making great strides in the African continent including providing employment opportunities and safer and convenient means of transport. Uber has also not been without challenges. Drivers in South Africa recently hit the streets lamenting unsafe working conditions and unfair commissions.
According to a recent published article, it read that Uber said it is not going to ditch the 25% commission it charges drivers contracted to its platform. In a nationwide strike in March, drivers demanded the commission to be reduced to 10%.
On the other side, Tope Akinwumi, Uber Nigeria Country Manager, says the ride-hailing company lowered its service fee across Abuja and Lagos.
“We believe that this will help to ensure that drivers are able to maximise their earnings while on the road and are able to continue to maintain a sustainable living while using the Uber App,” Akinwumi told IT News Africa.
“The services fee or the commission is the difficult thing for us to change because that is what we need to run the business,” said Frans Hiemstra, Uber’s general manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, according to News24.
Akinwumi says they take the driver’s concerns seriously and continuously engage with them through designated platforms to hear any grievances and issues they might have.
“These feedback sessions take place on a bi-weekly and monthly basis. These sessions represent a diverse range of drivers, helping ensure Uber understands the concerns of drivers across a broad spectrum,” Akinwumi said.
Akinwumi says they have a number of features in place to ensure both the safety of drivers and customers who use the Uber app including Real-Time ID Check, which prompts drivers periodically to take a selfie prior to accepting rides and compares it to the driver’s profile photo. This helps ensure the person driving matches the account Uber has on file.
In addition, the Uber app has a Two-Factor Authorization (2FA) feature in which drivers who log in to their phone on a new device will have to enter an OTP as well as the Verify Your Ride feature where riders have the option of receiving a four-digit PIN code to provide to their drivers before starting a trip requested via the Uber app.
Some of the features available in terms of the Safety Toolkit include:
- Trusted Contacts, which shares your trip details with your loved ones
- 24/7 Incident Response Team who are trained to manage any safety incident
- A dedicated law enforcement team that works closely with the local authorities when required.
- Injury Protection – this is provided by AXA Mansard and available to both riders and drivers during a trip, at no cost to them. They are protected from the moment the trip is accepted, through to when the trip ends.