TANZANIA : A cross-section survey by the Daily News has established that riders tend circumventing ride-hailing Apps with aim of cheating operators about fares paid by passengers.
They normally seek permission from passengers to end the trip on the App after a short distance, so that the Apps could charge less than the actual distance covered, but passengers pay for the whole trip.
Out of 25 drivers interviewed, 8 admitted that they were tempering with the Apps, but the rest played the scapegoat and used a general statement saying almost all drivers are cheating with the system.
Each tried to play a scapegoat while pointing fingers at fellow riders as skipping the Apps.
The registered riders said they were forced to cheat because the charges imposed by ride-hailing companies–Bolt and Uber–were unfair to them but, favour the companies and passengers.
Daily News efforts to reach the Bolt for comment on the matter proved futile after visiting the bolt office only to be told that the person in charge to speak on the matter–Country Director was out of office with no one delegated duty to act on his/her behalf.
A driver named Kelvin Mollel said they earn a little and that was why they sometimes tempered with the system.
“A driver has to buy bundle, to refuel or service motorcycle, tricycle or car and to pay the owner, yet he has to pay 25 per cent of the collected fare to the Ride-Hailing App companies,”Mollel explained.
“Another challenge to us is that if you delay a little to pick a passenger who has made a request due to traffic jam, the passenger cancels the request, something which affects us greatly because we use fuel to go to where the passenger was,” he added.
“It’s unfortunate that when the passenger cancels the request, the system assumes it’s the driver’s fault and the system rates the driver negatively,” Mollel explained.
Mr Udhaifa Ahmad, a bodaboda taxi rider, who has registered with the Bolt Application said: “We are charged 23 per cent of a passenger’s fare.
“In my opinion the charges are higher considering that neither the bolt nor the owners of the motorcycle considers the fuel price hike and other costs that we riders incur,” he said.
He added that even the distance to a location for picking a client is not considered in the App.
Mr Ahmad proposed that 15 per cent is affordable charge and he believed that many drivers will be comfortable with it.
It should be remembered that previous the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) had convened meeting with the operators to see if they could reduce the charges to 15 per cent following the drivers’ concerns.
The owners of the Apps said the suggested 15 per cent would be fair considering both the running costs and cost of investment.
By skipping the system, drivers affect the Ride-Hailing App companies and eventually reduce government income because the tax estimation for the company to pay is based on the income that such companies collect.
Director of Road Transport (DRT) with the LATRA, Mr Johansen Kahatano explained that the government charges a Ride-Hailing App Company 0.5 per cent of every 25 per cent they charge on service operator.
That being the case, once a driver skips the system, it is definitely not just the App owners, but the government too loses the income.
Mr Kahatano also observed that LATRA is there to protect the interests of both the Ride-Hailing App Company and the riders or drivers.
So far there are 18 Ride -Hailing Apps Companies registered and operating in the country, but only a few of them particularly foreign owned ones are popular.