Our concerns were about ‘No taxi allowed here’ not Uber - Commercial drivers to Dr Bawumia

Taxi Taxis to go digital

Thu, 4 May 2023 Source: classfmonline.com

Some commercial drivers have challenged claims by Vice President Dr Mahamdu Bawumia that the leadership in the sector came to him complaining about ride-hailing drivers crowding out the taxi business in the country.

According to the commercial drivers, there has not been any such meeting with the Vice President.

The spokesperson for True Drivers Union, Yaw Barimah, flatly denied the claims of the Vice President in an interview on the mid-day news on Accra 100.5 FM on Thursday, May 4, 2023.

"We are on some platforms across the country with all the leadership of commercial drivers and when the news broke, we tried to enquire from members and nobody own[ed] up to having a meeting with the Vice President," he said.

According to him, stakeholders have not made such complaints for the Vice President to set up a team to develop an application for the taxi business.

''As leaders what we complained about was the inscription of ‘No Taxi Allowed Here’ on public offices and installations," he noted.

"As leaders, we just did not understand why a place like Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority should have such an inscription so, we complained to the Transport Minister, Kweku Asiamah.

"We registered our displeasure with the unfair treatment meted out to taxi drivers [while] Uber drivers are allowed in," he said.

"There has not been an instance we complained about Uber drivers crowding out taxis," he insisted.

"So the Vice President should get his facts right and focus on his mandate of managing the economy," he said.

He explained that the taxi business is like the sale of Akpeteshie which is one of the oldest trades that has never seen advertisement but enjoys patronage regardless.

"The ride-hailing activities came into this country some decades ago and the number of taxis on the road keeps swelling," he observed.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at a programme announced that commercial taxi drivers operating in Accra are being migrated onto a ride-hailing application.

He disclosed this speaking at the General Council Meeting of the Church of Pentecost Ghana on Wednesday, May 3.

According to him, this forms part of efforts to digitalise the operations of commercial drivers in the country.

Dr Bawumia explained that this scheme was initiated after several complaints from taxi drivers that their businesses were threatened by the numerous ride-hailing companies.

“We sat down with my team and said, okay, how do we help our taxi drivers compete with the Uber drivers so that they can also be like Uber? So, we set the team to work. And so the task was to digitise the operations of our regular taxis, just as you have with Uber.

“I’m happy to say that that work has now been completed. And in the next couple of months, we will be able to place our taxis at least in Greater Accra to start with, all on an Uber-like platform. And you’ll be able to call them just like you call Ubers to your homes and all of that,” the Vice President announced.

He added that work is ongoing to digitalise public and private transport sectors by the end of the year.

“There’s more actually coming. We are attacking everybody. Trotros will come later on, VIP buses, Ayalolo, Metro Mass. The whole public sector is going to go and private sector transport is going to go on what we call a tap-and-go system.

“When you go to England, they have the Oyster card that you travel with.

Ghana is also going to have an Oyster card before the end of this year,” he added.

Source: classfmonline.com
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