By Felix Andrew
BAJAJ drivers in Dar es Salaam have requested the government to make sure that all companies engaging in transporting passengers should play under fair ground that would enable them to survive in the market.
“Coming of the cheap transport companies in Dar es Salaam has affected our business particularly in night hours, because their services are cheap as compared to us,” said the Chairman of Mwalimu Nyerere Bajaj drivers association identified as Salum Kingalu.
He said they cannot charge low fares because they do not own their bajaj,hence are forced to share day income with owners.
“Let me tell you the truth brother, it is very difficult to charge a customer per kilometer during noon hour as they do because of traffic jam, “he said.
Kingalu requested the government to intervene and make all companies which offer passengers services such as taxi and Bajaj play under fair ground.
However a random survey show that passenger car drivers and customers do not understand the modalities of operating under cheap tax service commonly known as Uber, hence there is a need to increase public awareness campaigns.
According to the General Manager of Uber in Sub Saharan Africa, Alon Lits, since the launch in Dar Es Salaam last year, the taxi services has experienced popularity among locals.
Despite operating in an informal market like Tanzania, drivers continue to thrive in areas where maps are in operation. Local taxi drivers have expressed concern and alarm on the competition their service poses but they would continue to serve customers.
Lits said Uber fares are considerably cheaper than local taxis or bajaj’s who have been said to exploit passengers.
“We hope to see Uber spread into other cities in Tanzania and hopefully take on other African countries”, he said.
He said they hope to see Uber spread into other cities in Tanzania and hopefully take on other African countries.
Uber is a chance to take out the hassle of looking for passengers, driving with our service keeps customer preoccupied and gives him enough chance to earn some money.
He explained that driving for the company is flexible and allows drivers have more than one stream of income.
Uber charges 25 percent off ride fares while drivers in Dar Es Salaam get to keep the balance of 75 percent and also gives a cell phone to drivers who do not have one to use in receiving rides.
At 10km distance which the normal drivers charge up to Sh30, 000 will attract just about Sh5,000 if the traveler books through the new system.
When one starts the Uber app from anywhere, drivers can see and accept the request. The would-be passenger can also see the driver's first name, photo, and license plate number.
They can also check whether others have had a good experience with him or her and the contact the driver.
Tanzania becomes the second country in East Africa after Nairobi which tasted Uber for the first time in 2015. In Africa, South Africa was the first and at least 500,000 customers access the service.