Prime News Ghana

Drivers react to calls for reduction in transport fares 

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Some commercial drivers in Ashaiman have reacted to calls from the public for a reduction in transport fares.

Many Ghanaians have called for a reduction in transport fares after President Akufo-Addo announced that commercial vehicles can now load up to capacity.

Some weeks ago transports fares were increased by 15% to help reduce the impact on drivers due to the Covid-19 protocols.

But some of the drivers noted that it will not be appropriate for a reduction in transport fares now because fuel prices have not been reduced.

"It will not be good for us at all, we prefer that it stays like and the reason the fare was increased was because of the fuel increment not reduction in passengers."

READ ALSO : Transport fares increased by 15% effective July 11 - Titus Glover

"If petrol price is high and we reduce the fare is will affect us," another driver added.

National Chairman for GPRTU Kwame Kumah also stated that they will be meeting with the Transport Ministry today to see the way forward.

"The Ministry has called us for a meeting so let us finish the meeting and the outcome will be made known to everyone." 

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) has also called on commercial transport operators to with immediate effect reduce transport fares which were increased last month.

COPEC charged the GPRTU, Concerned Drivers Association, Committed Drivers Association and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council to immediately hold a meeting and reverse the decision to increase fares.

COPEC’s call come on the back of President Akufo-Addo announcing in his 14th COVID-19 address that commercial buses and taxis are to load at full capacity.

“In consultation with the Ministries of Transport and Aviation and the leadership of transport operators, Government has taken the decision to lift the restrictions in the transport sector, and allow for full capacity in our domestic airplanes, taxis, trotros and buses,” the President said.

Commercial transport owners were not filling their vehicles to full capacity and that was affecting their sales because fuel prices saw an increase.

They had a meeting with the government and came to a consensus that since they are not filling the vehicles to full capacity they would increase the fares by 15% which the government agreed.

COPEC in a statement explained that the President’s directive means revenue which was being lost by the commercial drivers will be restored hence the need to reduce transport fares.

“What this directive means is that every revenue that until date has been losing per trip by the commercial transport operators before the announcement during the period and for which commuters have recently been forced to cough up additional 15-30% transport fare increases is now restored in favour of our commercial transport operators and thus the recent increases of between 15-30% must and should be reversed forthwith.”

COPEC added “We are, by this statement calling on some of our major stakeholders in the transport sector including the GPRTU, Concerned Drivers Association, Committed Drivers Association and the Ghana Road Transport Cordinating Council to immediately without fail, ensure that transport fares are reversed by close of day tommorow, not only to previous rates but a further 5% reduction possibly on the previous rates before these recent increases since fuel price variance as at this point remains positive by at least a further 12% from the pre covid-19 lockdown period.”