Ride-hailing platforms are yet to increase rates, but drivers expect a hike soon

June 2, 2023
2 min read

Key takeaways:

  • While Bolt and Uber riders complain about the price increase on ride-hailing platforms, drivers say there hasn't been an official increase.
  • The price increase has been attributed to surges caused by a drop in the number of active drivers.
  • After an 18% increase last October, drivers are anticipating a higher increase.

Two drivers have confirmed an increase in surges on ride-hailing platforms as there are fewer drivers available to work.

Riders of these platforms — mostly Bolt — have taken to social media to decry the increased price of trips.

One tweeter lamented a 147% increase in the cost of their trips, saying trips that typically cost ₦‎2,300 ($4.98) now cost ₦‎5,700 ($12.35).

These complaints started on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, following the announcement by President Bola Tinubu on Monday to remove fuel subsidy 

Since the announcement, fuel prices have increased by almost 200% — ₦‎185 to ₦‎500 — in some parts of the country.

Imani🤍 on Twitter: "@roses_on_mars Surulere to ikate, 9500" / Twitter

Ride-hailing platforms have not increased prices

While there's an obvious increase in the price of trips, drivers say riders are only experiencing a surge due to a reduced number of drivers on the road.

"Surges range from 1:1 to 1:9 depending on driver scarcity. It is like a bonus for drivers. It is created when drivers are not willing to work. We will get an email if there is a price change," said a driver registered on Bolt and Uber.

Unsurprisingly, the reduction in driver activity is because of the rise in fuel prices and fuel queues.

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"The sudden increase in the cost of fuel has affected our work. We expect them to review the prices based on what's happening in the country," another driver opined.

How high could prices go? 

When Uber increased prices in 2022 due to “changing economic conditions, including increased fuel costs,” the price-per-minute went from ₦‎14 ($0.03) to ₦‎16 ($0.035). The minimum fare also went from ₦‎600 ($1.30) to ₦‎650 ($1.41).

Then, the price of fuel increased by 90.54%, going from ₦‎87 in December 2015 to ₦‎166 in December 2021.

This time, fuel prices have increased by almost 200%, more than double the increase in the space of six years.

Because Uber increased fares by 18% in 2022, a 36% to 40% increase could be a possibility.

Drivers are almost certain that there will be a price increase, and ride-hailing platforms will need to devise creative ways to keep their customers.

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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