A digital taxi service for Ghanaian Taxi Drivers, Tap and Go, has been launched in Accra, by the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President.
The Tap and Go app, which works like the established taxi apps such as Uber, yango, bolt, etc, is being piloted in some parts of Accra (Airport, East Legon, University of Ghana, Circle/Kaneshie area and Dansoman), before it is fully rolled out nationwide next year.
Speaking at the launch of the app in Accra, the National Chairman of the GPRTU, Nana Nimako Bresiamah, said the launch of the app is the result of a collaboration between the GPRTU and the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, whom he said listened to their concerns of losing their business to online foreign taxi services.
“The taxi driving business, as we all know, has been taken online by many foreign companies and for our members who were still operating the old way, we were gradually getting out of business and the launch of this app, through the support and efforts of Vice President Bawumia, is a timely intervention to save our business,” said the National Chairman of GPRTU.
He disclosed that, following the negative effects of many foreign taxi apps on the operations of Ghanaian taxi drivers, the GPRTU met with Dr. Bawumia to express their concern and the Vice President assured them of a solution, a promise he said has been realised.
The Chairman, on behalf of the GPRTU, expressed immense gratitude to Dr. Bawumia for his concern and intervention.
“We want to express our utmost gratitude to Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for the concern he showed when we met him and also for intervening on our behalf through this app to aid our business. This is our own. The other apps are controlled by foreign interests but this is our own and it is truly Ghanaian.
“I want to caution drivers or members of GPRTU not to use the app in a negative way to extort Ghanaians. We want to operate this app effectively and professionally to offer Ghanaians great service so that we will continue to protect the integrity of the GPRTU,” he said.
Many taxi drivers who spoke at the launch, also expressed satisfaction and commended Vice President Bawumia for supporting them to save their collapsing business.
John Kofi Tawiah, a taxi driver in Kaneshie said: “I want to thank Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for this great initiative. The truth is that were losing jobs through the many apps. Now we have our app and this will help us because we will not be roaming around wasting fuel to look for passengers.”
Another taxi driver, George Nii Ayi Tagoe, who operates at the University of Ghana, Legon Campus, said: “We want to thank Dr Bawumia for getting our taxi business online. For us on the Legon campus, this will help us because we were completely losing business to online taxi apps. Now the competition will be favourable.”
Samuel Amoah, who is the Deputy PRO of GPRTU, was grateful to both the leadership of the GPRTU, as well as the Vice President, for listening to their concerns and helping them.
“This is a very good app and we want to express our gratitude to the leadership of the GPRTU for taking this initiative to discuss our plight with Vice President Bawumia. And we thank Dr Bawumia too for helping us with this Tap and Go app,” said the Deputy PRO.
The Tap and Go taxi app is uniquely built, with added features, to meet various aspects of Ghanaian taxi service, such as ‘private dropping’ (private cars operating as taxis) and ‘metered service’ (where a passenger instantly stops a taxi in the middle of the road and a meter is turned on to determine the charge), in addition to the usual online service app.
There are two Tap and Go applications: Tap and Go app for users and (Tap n Go Driver) for interested taxi drivers. Both apps can be downloaded on Google Play Store for Android phones and Apple Store for iPhone users.
Among the requirements for registration for interested taxi drivers is the Ghana Card, which is to ensure that all drivers in the database can be traced.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD