Nearly 200 PassApp rickshaw drivers yesterday held a second day of protests in Phnom Penh to demand that the company drop plans to cut charges for trips.
The drivers, protesting in Meanchey and Daun Penh districts, also want the company to reduce its service charge to 12 percent of their day’s earnings from the current 15 percent.
Veas Sna, 36, a driver, yesterday said that the minimum fare is currently about $0.30 per kilometre and the company plans to reduce this to $0.25.
Mr Sna noted that if a driver earns about $2.50 from a customer, the company would take a cut of about $0.40.
“If the company decreases trip charges, we will have less income to support our families,” he said.
Another driver, Vi Chet, 29, said that the company plans to reduce its charges despite the fact that more people are using the ride hailing service because of its convenience, adding that more drivers are signing up with the company, resulting in increased competition.
“Before, we could earn about $25 per day, now some days we can only get $10 and find it difficult to support our families,” he said. “We are also paying monthly instalments for our rickshaws.”
Dy Roth Khemrun, Meanchey deputy district governor, yesterday said that the authorities intervened in the protest and urged drivers to get back to work.
He said that the drivers were informed that they did not seek permission to hold the protests and were advised to file official petitions to the company and the authorities.
“The local authority suggested that they disperse and prepare the petitions so that a solution could be found,” he said, noting that the drivers agreed to this.
Luy Lavy, a PassApp marketing representative, yesterday said the company does not want to reduce the fare charges but has to do so because of competition from other ride hailing services.
He said many competitors are promoting lower fares and PassApp will lose customers if it does not follow suit.
“The company has to decrease the price due to marketing competition and we are trying to explain this to the drivers,” Mr Lavy noted.
He added that the company has suggested to relevant ministries that the minimum fare be capped for all companies to follow.
According to a Phnom Penh Public Work and Transport Department report, there are now 10,091 tuk-tuks and 14,338 auto rickshaws operating in the capital.