Taxis and Tro-tros

"Fast Cars"

Fast cars are usually seven-seater Peugeot hatchbacks which go directly between cities, and as their name suggests, they are very fast which can be dangerous given the deteriorating condition of Ghanaian roads. Do not take them after dark. They are more expensive then tro-tros. Fast cars to Kumasi are at Neoplan near Nkrumah Circle. For Takoradi, check at the Kaneshie station.


Taxis

Constantly honking their horns, often older model cars with yellow or orange hips and shoulders are everywhere. All legitimate taxis will bear a painted number on their door indicating that they have registered with the local Transport Union. The following are the different types of taxis:

Line Taxis

These taxis travel fixed routes with fixed prices and are shared by others which reduces the fee significantly. Often the driver will use a hand signal to indicate his route or will yell out his destination. Call out where you want to go and if it is on his route he will stop. You can board and get out anywhere on the route.

Dropping Taxis

These are the taxis that take you directly to where you want to go. It can be expensive so make sure you barter for the price in advance. It can be helpful to find out in advance what a reasonable price is. With gas prices rising, so are the taxi rates. Also, if you don't know exactly where you are going, make sure that the driver knows as he will assume that you can give him directions. Be certain that the driver hears your destination clearly, and make no assumptions that he knows what you're talking about just because you mention a "popular" destination. One NAWA member hired a taxi in Tema to take her to La Palm, an upscale hotel in Accra. Unfortunately, the driver misunderstood and took her to La Paz, a suburb in Accra and nowhere near the hotel. There are a lot of dropping taxis available; if you don't like the looks of the taxi or the driver's attitude, don't hesitate to wait for another one.

Chartered Taxis

Chartered taxis can be hired at most hotels. While not distinctively painted, these taxis must conform to higher regulations than other taxis. Drivers may belong to associations and are entitled to charge higher fares. If uncertain about the fare, you should be able to ask the driver for his fare chart and check that he is following it.

A taxi driver can become a valuable informal guide to the city. Many will also agree to take you to destinations outside of Accra. They can also be useful before your vehicle arrives. They can be hired by the hour, half-day or day.

Regardless of the type of taxi you hire, if you are comfortable with the driver, the way he drives, the car, etc., feel free to ask for his phone number for future needs. Most drivers will be happy to oblige and work with you.


Tro-tros (Mini buses)

These are easily recognizable, battered minibuses that have seating for 15 people, but often seat more. They are cheaper than STC/Vanef buses and travel more routes. You can sometimes find areas marked as bus stops or often, just look for a crowd of people standing by the side of the road looking expectant. You can flag them down at the roadside, using your right hand pointing in the direction you want to go. The driver's mate will shout out the window the route that the tro-tro is taking. There is large lorry park, Neoplan, where you can get transport to many places in Accra.

Close to Lamptey Circle is Kaneshie, where transport can be obtained, especially to coastal areas. If you are traveling by tro-tro outside of Accra, you will have to go to the appropriate motor park.

It should be noted that while traveling by tro-tro is a great and inexpensive way to meet people, at best it is unreliable, and at worst, it can be perilous.

Hand Signals

Pointing the index finger of your right hand skywards means "to Accra Central." Pointing the right index finger toward the ground and making a circular motion (with your finger) means "Kwame Nkrumah Circle."