As the days go by, more and more Kenyans are registering on popular taxi calling apps as taxi drivers, creating fierce competition in the market.
Overhead costs related to the operation of the company also increased, affecting the profit margins of the drivers. Government regulations such as the dusk-to-dawn curfew and the closure of popular pick-up points like bars have also played a role in the degradation of the industry.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has steadily increased fuel prices. For the period June 15 to July 14, EPRA raised the price of gasoline to Ksh 127.14 while maintaining the prices of diesel and kerosene at Ksh 107.66 and Ksh 97.85 respectively.
A gas station attendant pumping fuel into a car.
Talk to Kenyans.co.ke, Moses, a taxi driver in Nairobi shared some of the ways they continue to make a living.
“Some days I end up making 8,000 Ksh in one day, go to the supermarket, do some shopping and come home to my children who find out that dad was at work.”
Target high-end properties.
Through extensive research and experience, taxi drivers develop an understanding of their target market. They know where residents usually use matatus and where they use taxis.
This knowledge helps them identify some of the hot spots most in demand for taxi drivers to capitalize on. The driver gave examples of hot spots with high demand such as Parklands and Kilimani.
In business, demographic segmentation refers to the categorization of the target market based on specific variables such as race, age, education, and gender.
Sometimes taxi drivers in high-end areas such as Karen and Parklands only accept name requests from Asian or European clients who do not travel far and are perceived to have more money.
“I would rather take five trips to pick up clients from Diamond Plaza to their nearby homes, rather than pick someone from Ngara to Juja, knowing I won’t have a return.” Moses revealed.
Short trips vs long trips.
There are different factors that determine whether a driver will earn money on a trip. A long trip usually pays a lot, but the downside is the cost of fuel and the fact that the driver is unlikely to have a customer on the way back to the cbd.
Moses revealed that the method with the highest returns is short destinations. Taxi drivers prefer to make several short trips rather than long distances. “You will call the drivers or they will call you immediately after you request a taxi, the first question is usually where your destination is, if it is far away they give you a shaky excuse to make you cancel the trip,” revealed Moses.
Disable carpooling applications.
The rise of ridesharing apps has impacted the transportation industry and the lives of a multitude of drivers who initially rejected the technology, but were later forced to adapt and embrace it. join.
Two of the most popular apps take 25% and 15% less than what drivers earn, respectively.
Drivers prefer to turn off apps during peak hours or at prime destinations like JKIA in order to maximize their profits using âstreet pricesâ. They negotiate directly with a client and keep 100% of the turnover.
Use weather models.
Weather plays an important role in the transportation industry. This is often the case when it rains, where an increase in ticket prices occurs in all suburban services.
Taxi drivers are not left out because they use the weather to their advantage. Moses mentioned that taxi drivers prefer the hot, rainy seasons most of the time. Typically, they experience a drop in the number of customers during the cold season, a factor that Moses attributes to people staying inside to warm up.
âWhen the weather is warm you will find more people drinking and partying, which causes many people to seek a return home. During the rainy season, the activity peaks, as many intend to avoid getting rained, âsaid the driver.
Pedestrians cross floodwaters in Nairobi’s CBD