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Transport fare increment illegal — GRTCC

Source The Ghana Report

The Ghana Road Transport Coordination Council (GRTCC) has called on law enforcement agencies to intervene to stop errant drivers from charging unapproved transport fares.

The GRTCC said the key stakeholders responsible for the adjustment of transport fares based on certain factors had not fixed any new fares for commuters yet.

The General Secretary of the GRTCC, Emmanuel Ohene Yeboah, said in an interview yesterday that until such a time that the Council, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the Ministry of Transport worked out the numbers to inform any possible changes in transport fares, passengers should insist on paying the existing fares.

Context

The interview followed the announcement of 15 per cent increment in transport fares by the Transport Operators Union and the Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana, effective April 8, 2024.

They justified the decision by citing recent fuel price hikes, government’s inaction on petrol price reductions and rising costs of vehicle spare parts and lubricants as the basis for the increment, effective Saturday, April 13, 2024.

Rebuttal

In sharp contrast, the GPRTU and the GRTCC jointly issued a statement last Thursday, describing the purported increase in fares as illegal.
The statement, which was signed by the General Secretaries of the GPRTU and the GRTCC, Godfred Abulbire and Emmanuel Ohene Yeboah, respectively, urged commuters to disregard the purported increment in transport fares.

“We are currently in discussions with stakeholders to consider various cost factors and reach an agreement on the way forward. As per usual practice, our leadership met with the Ministry of Transport on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, to present our demands. Once consensus is reached, the public will be duly informed,” the statement read in part.

Crackdown

Mr Yeboah stressed to the Daily Graphic that the announcement of the increment in transport fares was unacceptable and must be nipped in the bud.

“We call on law enforcement agencies to move in and help to maintain sanity because the fares are illegal and if you forcefully take money from someone, it is extortion, and this is unlawful,” he emphasised.

Mr Yeboah also urged members of the public to help deal with the situation by refusing to pay the unapproved fares to drivers.

Engagement

He explained that the GRTCC and the GPRTU had started engagement with the Ministry of Transport on the possibility of announcing new transport fares.

He said the decision to increase fares at any point in time was subject to increment in fuel prices, related operational costs, including cost of spare parts.

“We had a meeting with the Transport Ministry on Thursday (April 11) and gave ourselves one week to regroup and see how things will go.

We have asked a consultant to look at the numbers so that by the time we go for the next meeting, we have a clear picture on how to proceed,” he said.

When asked whether there would be any increment in transport fares, he said, “I am not sure yet if there will be any increment.”

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