Kenya’s online taxi sector has received a boost as the government pledges its commitment to support its growth. The Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen assured taxi-hailing operators and passengers that the government would fully implement the recently gazetted Digital Hailing Service Regulations.
One of the key regulations is the cap on commissions charged to drivers and vehicle owners, which cannot exceed 18 percent of the total earnings per trip. Hailing businesses must also register with the Data Commissioner as a data processor or collector and pay an annual operational license charge of Sh100,000. Additionally, online taxi companies must sign transport network agreements with licensed drivers and owners of motor vehicles, and comply with strict regulations on subscription, activation, and deactivation of service.
The regulations were proposed by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), which will also audit all transport network companies to ensure compliance with the law. The license for a transport network company is valid for one year and will only be renewed subject to compliance with set regulations.
This announcement follows recent calls for better wages for taxi drivers. Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja urged the Competition Authority of Kenya and other taxi industry participants to help drivers, who he believes are receiving insufficient compensation for their services. With the implementation of the Digital Hailing Service Regulations and increased oversight from the NTSA, the Kenyan government aims to strike a balance between supporting the growth of the online taxi sector and protecting the interests of drivers and vehicle owners.
The Kenyan government’s commitment to the growth of the online taxi sector is a positive development for the industry. With clear regulations in place, the sector can continue to grow while ensuring that drivers and vehicle owners are not exploited by hailing businesses. The government’s oversight will also provide greater accountability and transparency, which will be beneficial for all stakeholders.