Since it’s operations started in Ghana in 2016, Uber has always had the general public behind it. The last instance was when it was alleged the transport gurus in a meeting with Transport Ministry and Uber, forced through a proposal that Uber cars should be painted in taxi colors. The court of public opinion (especially on social media) delivered an overwhelming victory for Uber; it was not going to be acceptable. In the end, it turned out to be a mere proposal from GPRTU and it was never an agreed position. The Transport Ministry also cleared the air and the issue died.
Drivers Strike, Uber Rates
It was therefore a bit of surprise when on Wednesday 25th April, news broke Uber drivers were on sit down strike over 25% commission. The event was surprising for two reasons; it was the first time Uber actually faced any organized form of resistance in Ghana; it was also the first time public opinion was split right through the middle.
Watch these videos on the demonstration:
Angry uber drivers storm Peace FM over unfair treatment
Uber drivers on sitdown strike over 25% commission
Implications of Latest Happenings in Uber for Partners in Ghana
Drivers Unable to Meet Revenue Targets
As seen in the video, a number of Uber drivers claim they are unable to meet their target per week. For those who are paying the 25% fully, it is just impossible to meet your targets for car owner. And for those who are not meeting fully, Uber will always make deductions via debit card and discount offers. One thing must be made clear; most Uber drivers drive long hours per day. For example, our drivers drive 11 to 18 hours per day. It cannot be said that drivers are not meeting targets because they are not working hard enough.
Rates for Riders May be Reduced
In the quest to get more riders to use the Uber platform and also kill off the competition from Taxify, Uber may drastically reduce the rates for riders altogether. This happened before in Nigeria. But it is unlikely Uber will use the same tactic here in Ghana since that move in Nigeria resulted in a lot of drivers switching en mass to Taxify.
Weekly Revenue to Partners (Car Owners)
It is our hope current happenings don’t last long and drivers return to meeting their weekly targets. However, if the present circumstances persist, there will be revision of weekly rates and this will affect some of our Partners as well.
The Future – Gloomy or Bright?
Ride hailing apps and the sharing economy in general have come to stay. For the next foreseeable future, there will always be an “Uber”. This kind of service is not going away. The frontiers for ride hailing will be pushed and more people will eventually prefer requesting for a ride rather than driving their own cars all the time. More will also continue to switch from traditional taxi patronage to “Uber” option.
However, in the long run, as with all consumer-focused services, prices (rates) will eventually fall to make it more affordable to the final “consumer” whilst other stakeholders in the chain will have their margins reduced.
For now, there is no reason to be alarmed. The market in Ghana is no where near saturation and a lot of potential remains. But latest happenings are sources of concern. We feel it is our duty to let our Partners know.
If you are one of our Partners and want more on this subject, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via our regular channels.