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Here's how much Uber and Bolt trips cost during the strike

E-hailing drivers are demanding government regulates the industry to ensure fair pricing, accountability and proper vetting of drivers. File image
E-hailing drivers are demanding government regulates the industry to ensure fair pricing, accountability and proper vetting of drivers. File image
Image: TOBY MELVILLE / REUTERS

A strike by e-hailing drivers has resulted in prices shooting through the roof and longer waiting times.

This week Uber, Uber Eats, Mr D, Bolt and InDriver drivers announced they will turn off their apps until Thursday. 

The drivers are demanding government regulates the industry to ensure fair pricing, accountability and proper vetting of drivers. They are also concerned about an unsafe working environment.

On Monday, Gauteng MEC for transport Jacob Mamabolo called on drivers to suspend the strike. He warned it could lead to instability in the transport sector. 

His request fell on deaf ears as Private Public Transport Association founder Vhatuka Mbelengwa told TimesLIVE the strike will continue as planned while they meet the MEC.

TRIP TO THE AIRPORT

The lower number of drivers has caused a surge in demand and resulted in prices increasing.

In some instances, a 40-minute trip to the airport in Johannesburg that usually costs about R100 or R120 can reach more than R400 on Uber and Bolt if cars are available.

Uber prices for a trip to the airport in Johannesburg.
Uber prices for a trip to the airport in Johannesburg.
Image: Screen shot
Bolt prices for a trip to Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.
Bolt prices for a trip to Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.
Image: Screenshot

TRIP TO SANDTON CITY

A 15-minute trip to Sandton City that usually costs about R30 or R40 can hit more than R160 on Uber and Bolt if cars are available.

Uber prices for a trip to Sandton City.
Uber prices for a trip to Sandton City.
Image: Screenshot
Bolt prices for a trip to Sandton City.
Bolt prices for a trip to Sandton City.
Image: Screenshot

In a statement, Bolt apologised for any inconvenience and said it respects every driver’s right to protest. 

“The protest will cause a lower availability of drivers which will lead to longer waiting times and higher ride fares due to the surge. We expect normal operations to resume on Friday.

“Even though Bolt respects every driver’s right to protest, your safety is our priority. We asked our drivers to stay peaceful during the protest and not to impact other road users and drivers who choose to continue to operate on our platform at that time.”

Bolt urged riders to make use of its emergency SOS button if they experience intimidation from protesters or feel unsafe while on a trip.

Head of mobility operations for Sub-Saharan Africa at Uber Kagiso Khaole said Uber was engaging with its drivers to address their issues. 

“We take the concerns of drivers seriously and are engaging directly using our engagement channels to work towards addressing the issues

“Our commitment to drivers is to continuously find ways to maximise their earning potential while meeting the needs of the riders.”

Khaole said Uber increased prices on its app to help drivers with rising fuel costs and to help maximise their earnings.

He said there were several economic factors, particularly the global volatility of fuel prices, which affected the cost of moving people and goods.

“With this in mind, we have increased prices on the app to account for the blow of inflationary increases.

“As always, riders will see the price of a trip before booking their journey.

“Our goal is to maintain a holistic view on these inflationary pressures to ensure the platform remains economically viable for drivers,” he said.


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