10 % transport fare reduction: …commercial drivers defy GPRTU directive to reduce fares

Days after the announcement by the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the Ghana Road and Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC) that transport fares have been reduced by 10 per cent, com­mercial transport operators in various parts of the country are yet to comply with the directive.

Checks indicated that drivers of commercial buses, popularly referred to as ‘trotro’ have flatly refused to reduce their fares, saying that the reduction in fuel prices, which formed the basis of the decision by the GPRTU and GRTCC, was insignificant.

Here in Accra, Anita Nyar­ko-Yirenkyi and Cecilia Lagba report that, the failure by some commercial drivers and conduc­tors to comply with the 10 per cent fare reduction had resulted in confusion between some pas­sengers and drivers.

Some passengers, drivers and their conductors were seen en­gaging in hot exchanges of words over the new transport fares during most of their journeys to their various destinations in Accra yesterday.

While passengers anticipated that the new fares would have taken effect, the drivers were of the view that the reduction in petrol was insignificant for them to reduce fares.

Some passengers in an inter­view with the Ghanaian Times expressed their dissatisfaction about the failure of the drivers and their conductors to reduce the fares and called on their lead­ership to put in place measures to ensure they comply with the directive to help cushion com­muters.

“I don’t see the reason why the commercial drivers and their mates always refuse to comply with reduction of fares any time they announce for reduction,” he added.

Another passenger identified as Ms Lucy Asante, stated that to avoid such confrontations in the vehicles she had kept smaller denominations in her handbag to be able to pay the exact amount as determined by the leadership of the unions.

She urged the drivers to re­consider their decision to reduce the fares to cushion commuters including workers.

According to some drivers, they have not received any direct instructions from their superiors to decrease the fares nor received new transportation fares.

A driver at Kaneshie station, Michael Ntebe, said the reduction in fuel prices was not significant adding that the price of fuel could increase at any time which would be a loss to them if they abide by the new price.

“Fuel prices can increase at any time and it will be a loss to us the drivers because it will be difficult to increase the prices again but we are waiting to get the new price list so we can see what we can do,” he stated.

.From Takoradi, Clement Adzei Boye reports that com­muters in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis in the Western Region pay same rate for transport fares despite reductions announced by the transport unions.

The situation had created worries among passengers, who believed that anytime there was an increase, driver unions were anxious to charge new rates but reductions in transport does not receive same response.

However, despite the stale­mate, commuting within Sekon­di-Takordi and beyond continues smoothly at various lorry stations and taxi ranks.

There have been some contro­versies surrounding the new re­duction with regards to transport fares, reports Kingsley E. Hope from Kumasi.

Some drivers argue that until prices of spare parts and engine oil were reduced, they would not adhere to the new price directives, but others were complying with the directive.

From Wa, Lydia Darlington Fordjour reports that commercial drivers in the Upper West Region were yet to effect the reduction in transportation fares.

Some of the drivers have complained that determinants of transportation fares was not limited to cost of fuel only but other operational costs like the purchase of spare parts, renewal of insurance and road worthy certificates, among others which had not seen any reduction yet.

“If they have not reduced prices in servicing our vehicles, among other operational costs, how can we reduce transportation fares just because fuel price has been reduced,” Abdul Rahman, a driver at the station retorted in an interview with the Ghanaian Times .

Transport operators in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital still charge old fares, reports Yahaya Nuhu Nadaa.

Mr Nba Hardi Hussein, a ticket seller at the A.Y Transport station, told the Ghanaian Times in an interview that they were still waiting on the GPRTU for new fares.

He said the 10 per cent was not good for them saying that, the reduction of fuel prices cannot compel them to reduce transport fares.

“Spare parts dealers have not reduced their prices, therefore it will be difficult for us also to reduce transport fares,” he added.

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