A deputy Minister for Transport, Daniel Titus-Glover has urged local assemblies to adopt technology in the management of transport within their respective jurisdictions.
According to him, the advent of Uber and other taxi-hailing companies presents tough competition that puts traditional taxi businesses at risk, particularly if they fail to embrace technology.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, Titus-Glover said local assemblies could develop a system that will ensure proper log of commercial drivers in the area is kept with each driver being easily traceable by passengers they pick.
Such a system, similar to the ones used by ride-hailing companies like Uber would ensure the safety of potential clients, making the taxis more convenient options for them.
“The distinction is the technological challenge…The local assemblies must take up the challenge. The assemblies must up their game so that they be able to track all these vehicles commercial taxi drivers within the jurisdiction of these assemblies. Uber has come with a competition, but what are they doing,” he said.
He emphasized that the Ministry was determined to ensure that, relevant policies to regulate the larger transport industry are introduced.
He, therefore, called on the various local assemblies to take charge of processes to ensure that commercial drivers are able to match the competition presented by Uber and other taxi-hailing companies.
“The assemblies must sit down so that all these taxi drivers that are operating within these assemblies, they should be able to get the application, and the drivers be taken through some training. This is where we have reached, in this era, we are going with technology, therefore, the assemblies must take up the challenge,” he said.
Taxi drivers agitated
Local commercial drivers in the country’s capital, Accra are protesting over the operations of Uber in the country.
They claim that the operation of Uber is negatively impacting on their business.
In their complaint to the Ministry of Transport, they, among other things, proposed the imposition of commercial vehicle operation taxes on Uber drivers and the branding of Uber vehicles as commercial taxis.
But the Transport Ministry has not considered their proposals.
At a recent meeting between the three stakeholders, the Ministry ordered Uber to present data on the number of vehicles on the platform among other information to ensure transparency in their operation.
Many Ghanaians have rallied against the taxi drivers following their action, accusing them of being responsible for the success of Uber’s operations in the country due to their poor services.
However, the taxi drivers operating under the Ghana Private Road Transport Union [GPRTU], have said they are not scared of competition from Uber.
The Vice Chairman of GPRTU, Robert Saba in a Citi News interview said, “We believe in competition, we do not fear competition. We’ve been in existence several years for now so we do not fear competition, but the right thing must be done…We don’t have that platform but we can create that platform.”