>Life: Cedis, Pesewas & the New Taxi Scam

>With my car still in the workshop (I’m giving myself 21 days from today to sort it out…) I have three main options for moving around the metropolis:

1. Charter a taxi (‘dropping’)
Pay to be the exclusive passenger for a trip’s duration.

  • Expensive
  • Relatively comfortable
  • Efficient

2. Board a taxi
Sit in a taxi going on a set route and wait until others fill the cab, at which point the journey begins.

  • Cheaper
  • Less comfortable
  • More time-consuming

3. Trotro/Trosky
The local (mini) bus system (which makes it sound more organised than it actually is).

  • Cheapest
  • Possibly more comfortable than option 2 although one still gets that ‘packed sardine’ feeling.
  • Fills up relatively quickly but – with more stops – not the best choice when in a hurry.

Also worth noting is that both taxi and trotro drivers are completely insane (trotro drivers have the edge though) and – having witnessed similar behaviour in Kenya – I am quite sure they all go to a school where they are taught how to drive badly.

I have been using ‘dropping’ for the sake of time and comfort but have come to observe a scam I am finding all kinds of annoying:

Since we dropped the zeroes (e.g. £1 = 10,000 cedis) and gave our currency an upgrade, taxi drivers have been making sure not to pack any coins. This way, when you reach your destination they can tell you they don’t have change and insist that you give them GHc3.00 instead of the GHc2.50 you agreed on or, even worse, GHc5.00 (your smallest note) instead of GH2.50.

The solution is to pack as many coins and GHc1 notes as you can whenever boarding, or to let them know at the start of the journey your ‘wallet situation’ and ask if they have change.

Of course, the real solution should be that taxi drivers start the day by getting enough coins and notes (e.g. from the bank) . As with most things here though, if you don’t take control yourself you’ll get screwed. No pun intended but you’ve got to Be the Change.

2 thoughts on “>Life: Cedis, Pesewas & the New Taxi Scam

  1. >Lol,loving this comment. Thanks for giving us the heads up on that will shock ’em by telling them that if they don’t have change then they’ve forfeited their fare and see what they have to say about that! It feels different when the shoe’s on the other foot doesn’t it? Lol!


  2. >Hi there, I was shocked to find out that even stores (my local Shell station for instance) start their day with NO CHANGE WHATSOEVER. That is they don’t even keep 10 cedis from the day before in different denominations for convienience – instead it takes forever to buy someting before 10 am if you insist on your change. So I agree with Toks, we should, otherwise its a treat? Right? Check my blog out!


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