Concerned Drivers Union lament reduction in transport fares

The GPRTU has directed transport operators to reduce transport fares by 10%, but some commercial drivers are not enthused by the idea

The Concerned Drivers Union has lamented the latest directive to reduce transport fares by 10% starting tomorrow. The group argues that such a move will have a negative impact on daily sales for commercial drivers in Ghana.

Speaking to the Accra-based Citi FM station, the union’s vice-chairman, David Agboado, said members do not support the reduction and argued that a 5% reduction in transport fares would have been a fairer deal for commercial drivers.

“We are not in support of the 5% left for us,” Agboado said of the reduction, which takes effect from 1 August.

“Now the COVID-19 restrictions have somehow calmed and we should go to normalcy. So the 30% will be abnormal, so we will reduce it – but not to that 5%.”

10% transport fare reduction

On Tuesday, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) met with transport operators to discuss the recent increment in fares.

The GPRTU engaged the Progressive Transport Owners’ Association, State Transport Company, Metro Mass and VIP Jeoun.

The vice-chairman of the GPRTU, Robert Sarbah, said a 10% reduction in transport fares was agreed by all parties.

This follows the government’s easing of passenger spacing restrictions on commercial vehicles, with taxis and trotros now permitted to load at full capacity.

“In view of the fact that the social distancing is no longer applicable in commercial vehicles, especially taxis, trotros and buses, after the end of the meeting with other transport operators, which included State Transport, Metro Mass, VIP, Co-operative, Protoa and others, it became possible that the transport fares should be reduced,” Sarbah said.

“Instead of the 10% that was given to operators on 11 July, it is now 5%, which will take effect from 1 August.”

Task force to enforce reduction

Meanwhile, the GPRTU says it has set up a task force to visit the various lorry stations to ensure that the 10% reduction of transport fares is enforced. Sarbah said the union will sanction drivers who refuse to adhere to the directive to reduce fares.

Pressure has been mounting on drivers to reduce fares following a 15% increment in response to the after-effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. And with President Akufo-Addo easing restrictions to allow commercial vehicles to load at full capacity, many Ghanaians have intensified their calls for a reduction.

However, the GPRTU said it is bent on ensuring that passengers pay what it judges to be the right amount whenever they use commercial vehicles.

E A Alanore

* Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.

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