Fuel Price Hikes Increase Patronage Of Train Services In Accra

Source the Ghana Report

The Ghana Railway Company Limited(GRCL) has revealed that patronage of its services has increased significantly since fuel prices and transport fares started surging.

The company noted that the progressive increase in fuel prices in the last weeks, which automatically increased transport fares, has tilted the taste for train services.

Currently, petrol and diesel prices are being sold at an average of ¢18 and ¢23 per litre, from the previous prices of ¢15 and ¢19 per litre respectively.

Ghanaians have already initiated alternatives to escape the high transportation fares by opting for trains.

According to the Ghana Railway Company, passenger numbers have doubled in the last week alone.

Public Relations Officer of the company, Roy Brown, said they are now considering adding more coaches to the Accra service.

“As we speak now, in terms of patronage, it has gone high just yesterday, we exceeded our normal intake…it is normally supposed to take around 335 passengers, but yesterday and the day before, we exceeded. This morning it went up 382 thereabouts, which tells you that people have now accepted the train.

“Going forward, we also plan that we will add another coach, the coaches are supposed to be six, but currently, we are running five coaches,” he said on Joy News on October 3.

“People pick the train because it is affordable and traffic-wise, this is faster,” he added.

He said the government is looking forward to bringing in more trains also to run the same service.

Meanwhile, a group of commercial drivers calling itself the Alliance of Drivers has called on all drivers to park their vehicles on Monday in protest of the constant rise in fuel prices.

The group, consisting of long-distance bus drivers, has advised drivers who particularly ply the Techiman to Accra, Techiman to Cape Coast, and Techiman to Kumasi roads to cease operations on November 7, 2022, in order not to incur losses.

According to the group, Oil Marketing Companies(OMCs) have resorted to profiteering at the expense of the consumers.

They have called on the government to “sit up and reduce some of the fuel taxes and, if possible, introduce subsidies on petroleum products”.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by the National Chairman of the Alliance of Drivers, Ghana, Alhaji Yahya Isiaka, cautioned that if the government fails to adhere to the above suggestion, they “will urge all drivers and transport operators to put on hold all transport business.”

“It is not easy for every Ghanaian at this point as this increment has contributed immensely to the increase in general prices of goods and services. Businesses are suffering, passengers and drivers are fighting on a daily basis because the latter is always adjusting transport fares upwards,” the statement said.

This comes after the Ghana Private Road Transport Union(GPRTU) and VIP Jeoun, a popular long-distance transport company, increased their fares for commuters across the country. Metro Mass is set to increase its fares too.

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