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Scores of Taxi drivers in the Ledzokuku Municipality have described the operation of digital transportation, popularly called Uber, Bolt as a threat to the operations of formal transport such as taxi and trotro.
“Digital transport– through the means of a smartphone, one orders for transport, which comes with small luxury, is attracting most customers of the taxi business, especially the ladies who used to pick ‘dropping’.
“We would soon be deprived of our jobs and need to find another alternative job to survive on. After several years of working as a taxi driver in this Municipality, I don’t know any other job I can opt for,” Nii Laryea told the Ghana News Agency.
Digital transport started on a large scale in 2016 and has since been accepted as a means for commercial transportation.
“Digital Transport drivers have ruined our business ever since they started operating in our country,” Adjei Boye, another Taxi driver told the GNA.
He said this was alarming and called on the government to come to their aid in order for the digital drivers to know their limitations, so that they did not interfere with taxi drivers’ line of work.
Mr Boye, who has been operating from the Taxi Union Station at Teshie Lascala market for the past ten years, claimed that digital transport drivers don’t pay either income tax or embossment fee, but taxi drivers do.
Due to the price differences, the taxi drivers appear to be more hit as compared to other commercial transport by the digital transport business.
“All the taxi drivers have their AMA embossment license and stickers to serve as an identity for their business,” he said.
However, Isaac Ashigbui, a Digital Transport Driver, said on the contrary the digital transport services had opened the business and attracted lots of youth who otherwise might not have considered commercial driving as business.
He stated that; “Digital Transport has reduced the rate of unemployment among the youths, and the taxi drivers should not see us as a threat. The Ghanaian transport business is a wide field with more room to accommodate other means of transport”.
Unfortunately, the Taxi industry is certainly not happy with the successes of Digital Transport as they see it as a way to close down the taxi business.
Nevertheless, passengers seem to be happy about the digital transport service as they believe it was easier since they just have to request it online and it was cheaper than taxi on the average.
“Digital transport has put a stop to all the ‘shakara’ our taxi drivers have been giving us and I am glad it came at this point in time to help us save money,” Beverlyn Asare, a business lady stated.