Mombasa tuk-tuk operators take on mobile transportation apps


Mombasa, KENYA: Mombasa tuk-tuk operators have expressed mixed reactions on mobile transportation apps that are now targeting the three-wheeled taxis.

While others have no idea on what these apps are, some are crying foul.

Tom Musyoka, a tuk-tuk driver in Mombasa, said he used to operate his business using one of the apps but stopped due to the charges.

“First of all they are not good for business, their payment is very low..for example from town to Nyali the charge can be sh.120, sh.170 when it’s a sh.400 destination…let them let us negotiate between ourselves,” Tom said.

The drivers complain that the fixed prices on these apps do not adhere fully to distance and the always fluctuating fuel prices.

“Now that the fuel price is high, and the payment is low, we are not getting any profits. It becomes very disadvantageous to us, the operators,” said another tuk-tuk driver.

However, some are in support of these apps saying that now they do not have to burn fuel looking for customers.

“Now we do not have to struggle searching for customers because these mobile applications do that for us, it also saves on fuel,” another driver said.

Some claim that reliance to these apps enables a stress free business while others view this as laziness.

Some of these apps are Taxify, Mondoride and Uber which launched its tuk-tuk operations last week.