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Lift Ethiopia, one of Ethiopia’s latest entrants to the ride-hailing sector, is offering a subscription-based service for drivers, departing from the industry standard practice of taking commissions.

Lift, which went live five months ago , is charging its drivers a fixed subscription fee of 449 birr per month regardless of how much money they earn from trips.

Lift which is available on Android and IOS as well as a call center, 9885, developed the platform in-house and is co-founded by Munib Ahmed, among others.

The cutthroat competition in the ride-hailing sector is giving birth to lower commission rates for drivers, with some platforms going as low as 5 percent.

The biggest players in the market take a commission that ranges between 8 – 12pc fee from driver earnings. When added up, this cuts could reach up to 2000 birr per month. Lift believes its subscription-based model will help it stand out from the competition and lure in drivers.

For passengers, Lift also provides a flag down fee of 90 birr and a rate of 14 birr per km.

Munib Ahmed, the co-founder of Lift, believes its subscription model will also come to the benefit of passengers when fuel prices increase in the future. Lift plans to make its rates for passengers stable as much as possible in the long term, irrespective of fuel price surges.

Munib believes that because commission cuts will remain low and drivers will be motivated to continue working under Lift.

Besides his entrepreneurial undertakings, Munib is a co-pilot at Ethiopian Airlines and has an educational background in computer science.

Besides subscription-based service, the other offerings from Lift Ethiopia include Lift Temari, which has a 22-pc discount for students; corporate service discounts for workers; and Lift Share, a feature that allows customers to share rides, thereby sharing the price.

Rica Trip, Addis Motor, Wez, Kenya-based Little Cab, and Sunshine Investment Group’s SunPick, are among some of the new entrants that joined the ride hailing sector in Ethiopia recently.

The Addis Ababa Transport Bureau states that over 50 ride-hailing platforms operate in the capital, while it says it only recognizes 17 of them.

After a failed attempt to govern ride-hailing platforms, the Bureau is also stepping up its efforts again to exert its power on the emerging sector and is amending its laws.

Lift Ethiopia is not part of the global ride-hailing platform Lyft nor associated with the now closed Ethiopian local ride-hailing platform Lift ET.

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