Home Uncategorized Digital Taxi regulations are in force, CS Murkomen says

Digital Taxi regulations are in force, CS Murkomen says

CS Transport Kipchumba Murkomen

Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Transport Kipchumba Murkomen has allayed speculations over the state of the Transport Network Companies (Owners, Drivers and Passengers) Regulations, 2022.

Speaking during the official launch of Yego Mobility Limited at a Nairobi hotel, CS Murkomen said the regulations which are meant to guide the operations in the digital taxi-hailing sector were Gazetted on 22 June 2022, and came into force in February this year upon approval by Parliament.

“The Regulations make it mandatory for every company before being licenced to be a registered company, be tax compliant, be registered by the Data Commissioner as a data controller and have a physical office in Kenya,” stated the CS.

He further noted that it is now mandatory for a licenced transport network company to sign an agreement with the vehicle owner before the vehicle is allowed to operate with a transport network company while the driver of the vehicle must hold a PSV licence and must have subscribed to transport network services.

In an effort to shield the driver from exploitation, the Regulations have set the maximum amount of commission paid by the driver or owner of the taxi as 18pc per total earnings per trip.

“It is also mandatory for the network company to follow regulations on subscription, activation and deactivation of service. This is meant to prevent cases where the transport network company terminates services of a driver without notice,” he said.

CS Murkomen directed the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to step up the verification of company compliance with the Regulations before licence renewal.

“The transport network company licence, which is valid for one year, shall only be renewed subject to compliance with set Regulations. NTSA is under obligation to audit all transport network companies to ensure there is strict compliance with the law,” he noted.

Additionally, the Cabinet Secretary reiterated the Government’s commitment to work with all stakeholders to streamline operations in the digital taxi-hailing industry to ensure the growth of the sector.

“As a Ministry, we are looking into the Integrated National Transport Policy with a view of promoting a balanced and sustainable transport system in which all players efficiently play their roles.

“We see mass rapid transport solutions for urban areas as the sustainable way forward, with ride-hailing playing a critical role in the last mile. We will be setting up a task force to spearhead the adoption of e-mobility and establish a transport data centre as a shared resource for use by investors and researchers,” stated CS Murkomen.

On his part, NTSA Director General George Njao thanked the CS for his intervention that led to the approval and enactment of the Transport Network Companies (Owners, Drivers and Passengers) Regulations.

He noted that the Agency will work with stakeholders to uphold the safety of operators and passengers in the sector.

In his presentation, Yego CEO Karanvir Singh said the company had complied with all the Regulations and was ready to take over the Kenyan market.

“This is a locally-owned company with keen interest in ensuring the interests and welfare of the drivers are well taken care of. Unlike, other companies that upped their rates to 18% mark to maximise on profits, we have capped the commission we receive from drivers to 12% all-inclusive, meaning the driver walks away with 88% of his earnings. These payments are made 60 second after the trip has ended,” he noted.

“In addition, we cater for our drivers’ NHIF costs and have insured them against personal accidents. In addition, 10% of the annual dividend from the drivers goes to YEGO Sacco as an effort to secure their future, with their savings enabling them to get access to car financing,” he said.

Mr. Singh further stated that the company had a 24-hour live agent help desk to deal with any emerging issues including the safety and concerns of the drivers and passengers.