Uber recently marked its third year of operations in Ghana and as we look back on Uber’s tangible impact on an economy with historically high unemployment, there is no doubt that Ghana is one of our most important markets. Ghana constitutes a melting pot of rapid infrastructural development, rich cultural diversity, and burgeoning entrepreneurship.
Driver-partners play a vital role, as without them we can’t help keep the people of Ghana moving. As a commitment to listen to our community of drivers, we have spoken with hundreds of drivers and partners over the past few months. Based on feedback, as of Monday, 9 September 2019, Uber dropped rates on UberX in Accra by up to 10%. This means that not only will riders pay less for their trips but, driver-partners will earn more through increased demand and improved driver promotions from Uber which will allow partners to pay a reduced effective service fee, and receive cash bonuses for increases trips.
We always consider driver economics in each city that they operate in and after years of experience, what we‘ve seen in cities across the world is that lower fares mean greater demand, lower pickup times and more trips per hour — increasing earning potential and creating better economics for drivers.
Riders can expect the same quality experience at a more affordable price and driver-partners should also earn the same, or more through increased rider demand and increased incentives intended to protect earnings on the driver side. Fare reductions are designed to help drivers by boosting demand so more people are requesting more rides through Uber, meaning drivers will spend more time with paying riders in the backseat and less time sitting idly waiting for a request.
We believe these changes will help, and while the city adjusts to the new prices, we will heavily invest in incentives to boost driver partner’s earnings to mitigate the impact of the price reduction. However these lower prices are not always permanent and operational expenses and partner economics are closely monitored. In the unlikely event that the lower prices don’t result in driver-partners making the same or more, we will rethink the fare reductions.
We have notified drivers about the fare reduction through dedicated workshops and focus groups. We want to ensure driver-partners in Ghana, whether they operate part or full time on the platform continue to thrive while using the Uber app by giving them the opportunity to fully benefit from the incentives Uber provides from time to time therefore keeping more of their earnings.
In turn, we will continue to invest heavily in driver-partners using incentives, as well as technological innovation such as the safety toolkit which provides safety features such as Trusted contacts, speed alerts, along with the Driver Emergency Button that enables drivers to call for assistance from a private third-party security supplier, who is able to dispatch emergency services or security response services. Uber drivers and riders are also covered by Injury Protection which provides peace of mind while on the road.
Furthermore, from Monday, 9 September, we will be implementing a one-off clearance of all outstanding service fees that partners may owe to Uber. This is our way of investing in the lives of driver-partners by ensuring that they continue to grow their businesses. We believe that this step will allow driver-partners to fully benefit from the incentives Uber provides from time to time which will see them increase their earnings.
We are always exploring new ways to positively impact the lives of our driver-partners in Ghana, and through these changes, we are committed to ensuring that driver-partners in Accra, whether they operate part or full time on the platform continue to thrive as we succeed when our partners succeed.
Our investment in the region and our success in the last three years has only been possible through our driver-partners, who deliver a seamless consistent experience for riders. Driver-partners built this business so if Uber does not work for them then it does not work for us either. It’s not just about creating economic opportunities for individuals, it’s about helping drivers build their small businesses.