Ride-hailing service Uber has expanded to 5 more urban centres in the country – Kisumu, Naivasha, Eldoret, Elementaita and Gilgil.
Uber will face off for market share with players including Little and Bolt who already have a presence in Kisumu.
It will also compete with homegrown ride-hailing services such as Wasili, which has cut itself a niche by targeting smaller cities and towns including Nakuru and Eldoret.
The company disclosed that rates as well as offerings would vary from city to city, with various factors being considered.
“Rates will depend on cities. Each city will be managed separately because the cost of living and affordability is different. Not all products available in Nairobi will be found in those cities. For example, you may find Uber X (premium option) in one city and not in another city. It will also depend on vehicles the drivers have,” stated Uber Head of East Africa Imran Manji.
Manji disclosed that the new locations were chosen because of their vibrancy and growth.
“We have soft-launched the cities and we will be going as the product becomes more developed. We see the potential in these cities and are confident that they will grow and become very reliable for us,” he stated.
The move comes even as Uber looks to raise fares in response to the increase in fuel prices. Public service vehicles (PSVs) in the country are among transport operators who have already raised their charges as a result of the latest hike by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra).
An across-the-board Ksh9 increase drove the cost of super and diesel to Ksh159.12 and Ksh140 respectively in Nairobi – the highest ever prices.
“We are looking at the pricing, and there is more chance than not that we will be reviewing our rates upwards in order to factor that fuel price increase,” Manji stated last week.