Uber killing our business: Ghanaian taxi drivers cry out

BY: Graphic.com.gh

The successes of the Uber commercial transport services, in Ghana has angered some taxi drivers who think that Uber was taking away their business.

The taxi drivers, especially from the Committed Drivers Association have initiated a series of media campaigns to tout their plight for government’s attention.

They were on Kasapa FM on Thursday and on Accra Radio on Friday.

Mr Francis Appiah, their spokesperson thinks that the drop in patronage of taxi cabs, identified with yellow paint on their fenders was due to the emergence of the services of Uber.

Uber, a technology company that connects passengers and drivers, began operations in Ghana last year. 

Mr Appiah told Accra Radio that insurance premiums paid by Uber service providers were much lower than that of taxi drivers because of the use of private cars for Uber services. 

This, he said, allowed Uber to charge relatively lower fares, thereby having an edge over conventional taxis.

He further stated that the use of private cars for commercial purposes by Uber was a clear violation of Ghana’s road safety regulations, however, authorities have turned a blind eye to the practice.

He said: “The Uber service is killing the work of taxi drivers in Ghana. Because they know as foreigners they would not be able to engage in this kind of work in Ghana, some Ghanaians fronted for them to enable them gain access to the local market.

“They don’t pay income tax, they don’t pay for embossments, but we the taxi drivers do pay. Taxi drivers also possess AMA embossment licences and stickers, but they [Uber taxis] don’t have them. Again, because they mostly use private cars to do their business, the insurance they pay is much lower than what the commercial drivers pay.

"Even the use of private cars is against the road traffic regulations, but everybody is watching as they violate the law. Today as we speak, when you go to Tanzania, Uber has killed taxi drivers’ businesses and even in the United States where they come from, they are gradually killing the taxi business.

“China saw the dangers they posed to their local drivers and so they prevented them from entering their market. And so why should we allow them to also kill our businesses here in Ghana?”