If you haven’t heard the news, Uber has officially launched in Accra.
Some of you may be asking: What the hell is Uber? Why are people so excited about it?
Uber is basically an app which allows you to hail a private car to your location via GPS. It’s basically an on demand service for providing transportation for one location to another.
Uber is not the first to try this. Easy Taxi was attempting to do that kind service in Ghana. Unfortunately it didn’t work and they shut down the service.
So can Uber succeed where Easy Taxi failed? It’s not really clear. Granted, Uber is a huge brand name. It’s a company worth billions of dollars and they have already established themselves in the African market in places like South Africa and most recently Abuja, Nigeria.
In this post, I’ll just be talking about the Uber app and how you can use it to get from one place to another. I’ll also be talking about another important thing: Can you afford it?
Everything starts with the Uber mobile app. It’s available on all major mobile platforms including iOS and Android.
When you first start up the app, you’re presented with map of your current location. You can pinpoint your location or select a place on the map for an Uber car to pick you up.
You can even see how close an Uber driver is to your location on the map.
When you’ve selected an Uber car and selected your destination, the app calculates your fare and gives you the option to pay before your ride gets to you.
But what if you don’t have credit card? Don’t worry. Uber’s got you covered. They recently updated their app to include cash payments.
The cool thing about the app is that you get the profile of your driver. Uber does background checks on all its drivers and even has an incident team on standby if your driver decides to act funny. When they pick you up and drop you off, you get a chance to rate your driver.
So you get picked up, you pay, you get dropped off and that’s it! Simple and easy.
Now’s let go into detail: How much are you paying for these rides?
According to their press release, Uber prices are as follows:
- GHS 1.70 Base Fare + GHS 1.30 per kilometer + GHS 0.19 per minute
- Minimum Fare: GHS 5
- Cancellation Fee: GHS 5
So, I did a quick calculation on my phone. I was near Accra Sports stadium. I used my Google map app to see how far it was from the stadium to my folks place at Abelemkpe. So, the distance is about 11km and would take about 21 mins.
If you did quick math using Uber prices, you would be paying about 20GHS-25GHS. Now, I didn’t factor in traffic, so the travel time is basically an estimation.
Is that affordable? People in Accra are so reliant on Trotros because it’s so cheap but I know some people are not #TeamTrotro because it’s not so comfortable. But they’re trading price for convenience.
So can people actually pay Uber prices on the regular? I’m skeptical but I know people who can afford it and don’t own a car will use this service on the regular.
Lastly, anybody can become a driver for Uber. Yes, ANYBODY. If you own a car and have lots of free time, you can become a driver for Uber. You can go https://partners.uber.com/join/ and sign up. So shoutout to Uber for creating side jobs!
And that’s basically your simple guide to Uber.
If you can afford it, please try it. If you can’t, find a friend who can afford it and catch a ride with them.
Will Uber succeed in Ghana? I’ve always been skeptical but on the eve of launching, I’m a bit more optimistic.
I’ll be putting a write up on my first Uber ride soon. Stay tuned.