Accra is undoubtedly a very busy city and just like any other major city of the world has its own perks and nuances when it comes to moving around and finding your way around town. Not surprisingly, all countries in the world rely on automobiles as the main mode of transportation for obvious benefits and purposes. However, despite the universal acceptance of automobiles as standard modes of transport, every country has their own unique ways and systems that their transportation industry runs on.
This is usually seen in the brands and make of cars that ply the roads as well the type of roads and the transportation system of each country. Green Views brings to you the technological companies changing the transportation environment in Accra.
Being the capital city of Ghana has afforded Accra a lot of interest when it comes to road networks and hence has received a lot of government and international attention. Although the majority of the roads in Accra have been constructed by the government of Ghana, some roads have been refurbished or constructed using grants from foreign donors. A good example of one the popular N1 highway which was completed using funds from the George W. Bush administration of the United States of America and the Highway has been accordingly named after George Bush.
The quality of the road network and the economic activities and conditions determines the kind of automobiles used. The transport industry in Accra was not so dynamic with customers often having to negotiate prices with drivers and very low diversity in the options available.
Now let’s look at the technological companies that revolutionized Accra’s transport industry.
For many people on the move, Uber has become a force to reckon with in many transportation industries in the world. 11th June 2016 – the date that Uber was duly launched was a turning point for Accra’s transportation industry. As the first transportation service to be fully dependent on technology in Ghana, the tech-savvy population of Accra was more than willing to give it a try and enjoy any benefits that were associated with it.
It did not take long for Uber to gain traction and patronage due to the fact that people who had already enjoyed their services promoted the brand by word of mouth. It quickly became the main transportation staple for people in the ages ranging from 18 – 40s who owned smartphones and now it has become one of the main means to get about in Accra.
Patronizing the service of Uber in Accra is a simple process. You have to first download the Uber App from Google’s Playstore or Apple’s store and install it on your smartphone, input your mobile number and you can order a ride. Uber’s pricing is based on the distance travelled as well as the time spent during the ride and the driver has no input in determining the fare.
Many prefer this because they consider it as a fair process of charging which cannot be easily manipulated by the driver or the passenger. Many of the cars used for Uber are usually Toyota Yaris, Daewoo Matiz, Kia Picanto and many other small cars because they are low consumption cars.
Formerly called Taxify, Bolt was launched in Ghana on 22nd December 2017 and immediately started to gain patronage. This is mostly due to the fact that Uber had done a little over one year of operations in Ghana and many people in Accra were already familiar with Uber’s business model which was very similar to that of Bolt’s and so many did not have the initial uncertainties that follow the introduction of new brands in the market.
Bolt rivals Uber’s prices and that is what gave them some attention too. It is noteworthy that some of the drivers who work for Uber go ahead to work for Bolt simultaneously to maximize their gains. Bolt charges in a similar way to Uber with respect to using the distance being traveled and the time spent. Moreover, the cars usually used for Bolt are the same as used for Uber. However, on days that it becomes a little difficult to get Uber around you, Bolt might be around and vice versa.
One thing to note is that when the demand is high, the price appreciates accordingly (Surging) and items left in the car can be traced since anyone who patronizes the app will get his or her driver’s details on the phones.
Ghana being the 16th country to operate in, Yango – one of the ride-hailing technologies which is a subsidiary of the Russian-owned Yandex has been the newest kid on the block. Launched in Accra on Thursday, June 6, 2019, Yango has continued to give Uber and Bolt stiff competition.
Their selling point was also on the price being charged by those already operating in the market. So they entered with the least price in the market which was 2 Ghana Cedis as compared to the 5 Ghana Cedis being charged by its competitors. Yango also operates based on a model similar to that of their competitors however, unlike their competitors Yango drivers work exclusively for them and they usually require that cars used for their services be branded with their brand logos.
One innovation that many patronizers love about Yango is that you can check your price at any point in time and monitor it in real time. In addition, the automatic translation system of the Yango app makes it very ideal for expatriates who speak little to no English or who will prefer to communicate with the drivers in their native internationally recognized language.
So let’s say that a Chinese arrived at the airport and ordered a Yango. In communicating with his driver, he or she can send messages in Chinese and the app will automatically translate the messages to English and the same thing will happen if the messages are from the driver hence to an extent, bringing down the barriers of language.
It is obvious that these companies have made an indelible mark in the transport history of Accra and are going to inspire more of such innovations that will make the lives of people easier. Anytime you are in Accra, you can visit Green Views Apartments for juicy accommodation deals as well as any of the services of these transport companies.