SafeBoda riders protest 15% earnings deduction

The changing face of Uganda's volatile Boda boda industry
Safeboda in Uganda

Kampala, Uganda | URN | SafeBoda riders are protesting the 15 per cent deduction from their earnings. This comes a few days after SafeBoda increased the deduction from 10 to 15 per cent last week.

The riders say the increment is unnecessary since the app charges customers less money.

They instead want the company to increase the transport fares on the App to help them benefit as well.

Juma Mukiibe, a rider says that most of them still use the app because it keeps them busy since there are many customers seeking their services.

SafaBoda riders charge less transport fares compared to other riders. For example, a ride on SafeBoda from Bukoto to Nile Avenue costs Shillings 2,500 while the same trip costs between Shillings 3,000-4,000 on the ordinary boda riders.

James Sewanyana, another rider explains that most of the times he puts off the App and charges customers as usual. He requests the company to either take them back to ten percent or increase on customer charges.

Nicolas Nkugwa, a rider says the increment doesn’t favour them.

Hanington Tumuhimbise argues that the company is favouring customers at the expense of the rider yet they are the ones supporting the business. He says that he uses airtime and data to be on the SafeBoda app yet the customers are paying lower rates.

This publication has also realized that some of the riders negotiate with clients to turn off the app and take a trip to avoid being charged by the company. Ricky Rapa-Thompson, the SafeBoda co-founder says they increased the rate because of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic which heavily affected their business.

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Thompson reveals that with that increment, they hope to raise funds that can help them run the business. He however says they have received complaints from the riders saying that the increment is too much for them.

He notes that their riders usually earn 30 per cent more than regular boda bodas even when the transport fares are fixed because they easily get customers through the app.

Ricky says that they will look into the complaints and see what they can do to cater for the riders. SafeBoda is the leading safe ride in Africa with a fleet of over 13,000 drivers in East and West Africa with close to 200 employees and more than 8,500 boda riders.

SafeBoda is one of the fast-growing start-up businesses in the boda-boda transport service that brought innovation to the growing motorcycle taxi industry in Uganda and Africa.

The community of riders use mobile phone technology to bring services to the people where one makes an order for the ride, right on their handsets.