A ride to live or die? – Navigating the growing risks of ride-hailing services in Ghana


Ride-hailing services in Ghana have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional transportation services.

These services use smartphone applications to connect passengers with drivers, allowing them to easily request and pay for rides.

Bolt, Yango, Uber, Little, Shaxi and a few others are the dominators of the market here in Ghana. These companies have experienced significant growth, attracting both riders and drivers and have made a positive impact on the country’s transportation landscape by providing job opportunities and improving access to reliable and safe transportation.

However, there have also been some challenges, such as regulatory hurdles and safety concerns, which have led to calls for increased government oversight and stricter regulations.

The safety of riders and drivers in ride-hailing systems has been a subject of intense scrutiny and concern. In recent years, numerous incidents of violence and attack have been reported against both passengers and drivers. 

In December 2021, a particularly disturbing case made headlines when three senior high school students in Sekondi were arrested for the murder of a Bolt driver. The students had reportedly set fire to the driver and his car with the intention of theft.

In the city of Accra, the situation is similarly concerning, with many drivers speaking out about the violence and assaults they have faced while on the job.

In an interview with Kwame Kyei, a driver, he shed light on an issue affecting the safety of ride-hailing drivers. Kyei stated that due to the high number of attacks against drivers, many of his colleagues have taken measures to protect themselves, including declining ride requests from certain areas or at specific times of day.

Kyei personally stated that he refuses to accept requests from the Teshie area after 6 p.m., due to the dangerous nature of the area and the numerous reports of driver assaults and robberies. 

“I don’t accept requests to Teshie and other areas close. This is because it’s risky. Sometimes, some group of people pretend to be riders and when you get to the location, they surround your car and attack you,” he stated.

Riders using ride-hailing services have also raised concerns about the behaviour of some drivers. Complaints include reports of overspeeding, unprofessionalism, and unethical conduct by drivers. Some riders have claimed that when they bring these issues to the attention of the drivers, the response is often anger, with some drivers even cancelling the ride. This type of behavior is unacceptable and raises important questions about the safety and quality of the ride-hailing experience for riders. It is imperative that the companies responsible for these services take these complaints seriously and take steps to address them in order to ensure the satisfaction and safety of their customers.

The issue of loose safety in ride-hailing systems is a matter of concern that requires immediate attention. It’s important to remember that riders put their trust in these platforms and it’s the responsibility of both the companies and the governments to ensure that the proper safety measures are in place to protect them.

By implementing stronger background checks, and training protocols, and utilising technology, we can improve the safety of ride-hailing services and provide peace of mind to both riders and drivers. This issue of safety in ride-hailing systems demands immediate attention, as riders and drivers alike rely on these platforms for their daily transportation needs.

Malise Kofi Omoloye

Malise Kofi Omoloye

Nothing to see here. Just an article at a time. Curiosity is my superpower.

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