Some Uber prices in Cape Town tripled on Monday morning after Western Cape minibus taxi drivers went on strike and left thousands of commuters stranded.
Khaya Dondolo, an editorial intern at the online publication Wheels24, was expected to pay nearly R800 for a commute 30 km from Khayelitsha to the CBD which normally costs between R160 - R180.
Dondolo usually takes a bus to work, but the service was suspended due to taxi violence in the area. Taxi drivers are reportedly striking over frustration about a provincial conference supposed to have been held to resolve a leadership dispute.
“When I saw the prices at 08:00 this morning on my way to work - it was simply ridiculous. How can anyone expect you to pay that,” asked Dondolo.
“The highest I’ve ever paid for an Uber from Khayelitsha was R205 during a bus strike earlier the year.”
Uber South Africa said it is aware of the surge in prices in Cape Town due to the strike and is monitoring the situation.
Uber said ‘dynamic pricing’, as surge pricing is also known, is an automatic feature which kicks in when more people are requesting rides than the vehicles available.
“Bad weather, rush hour, and events, for instance, may cause unusually large numbers of people to want to ride Uber all at the same time,” an Uber spokesperson told Business Insider South Africa.
“Dynamic pricing encourages more driver-partners (who are independent contractors and could be working somewhere else or with family) to come onto the app and cater for the demand.”
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