Nairobi Taxis to Use Meters

The Nairobi City County government has announced that come December they intend to have all taxis licensed in the city use meters to determine fares, similar to common practice elsewhere in the world.

At present it is common practice to negotiate a fare, often guided by the concierge of a hotel where guests are staying, to either reach a destination in the city, the airport or even a daily flat rate, which considering the eternal traffic jams in the city spares clients to have to pay for the time of standing in traffic. There are subsequently fears that the introduction of metered taxis will increase the cost of using cabs in the city, likely then to create a new caste of unlicensed taxis offering cheaper services.

It is understood that Governor Kidero mentioned an annual permit fee of KShs 7,000 per cab or about 80 US dollars while cabs from outside the county would from December have to pay an access fee to get into the city. It was not explained how this can or will be administered and considering the fate of the often-introduced and equally often-shelved speed of governors in commercial vehicles, there is widespread doubt that these ambitious plans can be materialized within the next 6 months, as court challenges to the new regime are very likely to substantially delay the introduction of metered cabs.

Source: eTN