There have been numerous complaints from Uber users who noted with frustration that short trips get cancelled by the drivers.
Uber might face another strike or possibly a closure if it fails to establish an agreement with the drivers over the minimum base fare of short trips.
This comes after drivers long called for an increase with Uber in the minimum fare rate so they do not suffer losses when they do short trips.
E-hailing operators spokesperson Vahtukwa Mbelengwa confirmed in an interview with enca that indeed uber drivers reject short trips dubbing them as a loss.
“When you look at the cost of a litre of petrol and then you are going to pay R15 or R13 for a short trip it is just not economically viable and there is serious human impact on the drivers lives over this,” said Mbelengwa.
The current base fare in the e-hailing sector is between R20-25 which is often reduced due to promotions while drivers are calling for a rate of R50 depending on the number of riders.
“What we need to understand is that the economic viability of short trips does not make sense purely based on the minimum base fare that is determined by Uber itself,” Mbelengwa said.
Uber riders frustrations
Uber riders voiced their frustrations last month after noticing the growing trend of drivers rejecting their short trips.
The complaints started with Uber riders in Cape Town and Johannesburg as reported by Business Insider last month.
Drivers prefer longer trips as they are profitable from the end of 2021 due to soaring petrol prices.
While head of mobility operations at Uber Sub-Saharan Africa Kagiso Khaole said drivers have their own preferences with regards to the type of trips they choose to take, he said petrol prices also play a part.
“We’ve seen interest rates slowly starting to climb up as well, we look at the cost of parts [and] maintaining the vehicle.” Khaole said.