Uber. Uber, Uber, Uber. It’s here, in Accra, and for that we’re happy. Having already enjoyed its services in Buenos Aires, London and, er, Leeds, we’re big converts. Why? Well, it’s so darn easy. Tap your smartphone and, as if by magic, a car appears. But that’s not the best bit. Firstly, no money changes hands, secondly it's secure – you’re provided with images of the driver and the car registration – and you’re notified where it is. And thirdly, it’s reasonably priced.
So why is this such a significant arrival in Accra? Well you’ve been in a taxi here. They are cheap, abundant and you’ll probably have a lively chat about Manchester United’s season. They are, however, reasonably behind when it comes technology. The lack of meter is a particular problem; it means every trip requires a stressful negotiation… “Twenty cedi? You’re kidding. Make it ten.” “No [insert something about petrol costs here] I’ll go 18.” “OK, 15 and turn the air conditioning on.”
Plus the state of some of the taxis leave a lot to be desired: only a few have air conditioning and few have seatbelts in the back. Finally, many don’t actually know where you’re going. That new burger joint in Cantonments? Unless you can direct them from Labone Coffee Shop you’re subjected to an hour, albeit good natured, of eliminating roads from the roundabout near the US Embassy (can you tell we’re speaking from experience?).
Nope, none of these problems with Uber. The pricing is clearly metered, only decent cars are used and, big bonus, they will actually know where you’re going. Another plus is that you can wait inside the air conditioning until the car arrives – useful in the sweaty climate of Accra.
Like in London and New York, taxis will continue have their place on the streets of Accra, but Uber’s arrival is great news. Oh and best of all, with the code 'TimeOutAccra', we’re offering the first ride free up to GHS15… and no bargaining! To claim it click get.uber.com/go/TimeOutAccra.
How to request a FREE reliable ride on-demand with Uber
All new users can sign up here with the promo code: TimeOutAccra, in order to receive a free first ride up to GHS 15. To request your ride, simply download the free application for iPhone, Android, Blackberry 7, Windows Phone, or visit the mobile site: get.uber.com/go/TimeOutAccra.
We'd love to hear about your expereinces with Uber here in Accra. Let us know in the comments below