Uber plans to raise fares in Saigon to 'support' drivers

By Phuong Dong    August 19, 2017 | 11:09 pm PT
The company says the current fares are still too low, despite a hike last year.

Uber Vietnam said it will raise fares in Ho Chi Minh City to VND8,500 (37 cents) per kilometer, still just half the amount charged by most traditional taxis, from August 24.

The U.S. ride-hailing firm said it will also adjust fares in Hanoi at a later date to support its drivers, who say the current fares are too low.

The last price adjustment Uber made was in November 2016, when it raised fares from VND5,000 to VND7,000 per kilometer in HCMC and to VND7,500 per kilometer in Hanoi.

For each trip, Uber deducts 25 percent of the fare from its drivers.

Pham Trang Phuong Dung, director of Uber in HCMC, said more than four million people have used Uber services in Vietnam since the company entered the country in 2014.

“Raising fares is the most practical way to support Uber drivers,” she said.

Vietnam’s biggest taxi firms have repeatedly blamed Uber and its sole rival in Vietnam, Malaysia’s Grab, for gobbling up their profits.

Vinasun said nearly 8,000 of its drivers quit in the first half of this year, while its revenue in the second quarter slid to VND810 billion ($35.6 million), the lowest since 2014, due to competition from Uber and Grab.

Mai Linh, another major taxi firm, also said ride-hailing companies are the reason it lost nearly VND84 billion ($3.7 million) in 2016, the company's worst result in five years.

However, this finger-pointing has received little support from the public, with many passengers saying they were already unhappy with the poor and unreliable services provided by traditional taxi firms.

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