Mixed Reaction To Transport Fare Increment

Scores of passengers on Monday expressed indignation and frustration on the 20 per cent increment of transport fares, describing it as an act of insensitivity. A number of passengers however engaged in squabbles with some drivers over the new fares, the Ghana News Agency observed during a tour of some lorry stations in Accra. At the Dansoman lorry station, a passenger, Madam Emelia Mensah, expressed surprise at the sudden increase in transport fares and indicated that the drivers should have informed the passengers before the increase. “I would still pay the old fare until I am convinced it is officially announced,” she added. Madam Gloria Asamoah, another passenger at the Dansoman last stop lorry station, said the sudden increase in transport fares would increase the economic hardship Ghanaians are going through. “All the drivers know is to increase fares without thinking of the comfort and safety of the passengers”, she said. According to her, she was not bothered about the increases, but rather the discomfort on the buses. “We can’t complain much about the increase because we can’t do without transportation,” she added. Mr David Asare, another passenger also indicated that he was not surprised because he was aware of the increase in petroleum products. At the Tema station in Accra, Mavis Osei and Ms Florence Okyere Darko, both passengers, noted that the amount being charged from Nima to the Tema station was too high, considering the distance. According to them the fair used to be GH˘0.85p but had been increased to GH˘1.00, which was not fair to commuters. “Even when it was GH˘0.85p, we felt we were been cheated because the distance was short,” they added. Mr Enoch Ansah, also a commuter on the same route said he expected the increase to be GH˘0.5p instead of the GH˘0.15p. Mr. Victor Mensah, another Nima passenger argued that he was not expecting an increase because the fares were increased by the drivers not long ago when the previous announcement of fuel price increase was made. Mr. Solomon Mintah, a driver at the Dansoman Last stop lorry station, said he was not expecting any reaction from the passengers because the increase was imminent, when the price of fuel was increased a week ago. “I don’t know why passengers always fight us whenever there is an increase,” he added. Drivers have accordingly adjusted their transport fares in accordance with the directives issued by the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC), and Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU). The new fares cover transport operations involving inter-city (long distances), intra-city (Trotro) and cabs. Mr Stephen K. Okudzeto, General Secretary of GPRTU and Alhaji Aliyu Baba, General Secretary of GRTCC made the announcement in a joint statement; they signed, and copied to Ghana News Agency on Saturday. The fare per seat for a taxi plying one to 40 kilometres ranges from 60 Ghana pesewas to GH˘ 8.40. The fares per hired taxi covering one to 40 kilometres would now cost between GH˘ 3.00 to GH˘ 40.00. The approved fare for intra-city or Trotro has been fixed between 60 Ghana pesewas and GH˘ 2.90, depending on kilometres. The fares to be charged by intercity or long distance road transport operators range from GH˘ 3.00 to GH˘ 102.50. Dry cargo goods charges approved also ranges from GH˘1.20 to GH˘120,000. The statement urged transport operators to post the list of the new fares at their loading terminals in order to avoid confrontation with commuters. It appealed to members, commuters and the public to comply with the new fares.