COMMUTERS in the Accra Metropolis have expressed mixed reactions over the new transport fares likely to be imposed by drivers due to the new fuel prices.
They noted that drivers were always in a hurry to “transfer the heat to them” with the slight increase in fuel prices but felt hesitant to reduce fares when there was reduction in fuel prices.
Speaking in an interview with The Ghanaian Times, some passengers bemoaned the current situation, saying the economic difficulties were becoming unbearable.
They said they were barely adjusting to increases in utility tariffs which took effect during the Christmas festivities, only to be hit again by another hike in fuel prices.
On a visit on Tuesday to some fuel stations at Kaneshie such as Goil, Total and Shell the Times found out that prices of petrol and diesel which used to sell at ¢2.699 and ¢2.649 per litre respectively, were now sold at ¢3.465 and ¢3.281, respectively.
Sharing some thoughts on the fuel prices which may lead to increase in transport fares, some passengers noted that no matter how much they expressed their frustrations at the drivers, the new fares would still take effect and they had no option than to adjust to it.
Mr. Emmanuel Adams, an account’s clerk who lives at Gbawe, said though he would be affected should transport fares increase, there was little he could do about it.
“There is nothing that will change the minds of these drivers since they also have to fend for their families. It’s God who watches over us so I won’t be moved should there be an increment. I can’t say because of that I would stay at home when I have something important to do in town”, he stated.
A nurse, Ms Harriet Duodu, also shared the same thought saying, “We are tired because this thing keeps happening. Whether we shout, demonstrate or hold vigils, it won’t change anything. The government can do it worse”, she burst out.
A hairdresser who works at Tabora, on the other hand, was worried over how the new fuel prices would affect prices of items on the market, aside from the possible increase in transport fares.
She noted that immediately transport fares were increased, traders would also increase their prices which would lead to more hardship in the economy.
At the Darkuman-Circle station, Madame Oforiwaa Asiedu, a cold store keeper, said she would also increase the prices of her products in order to stay in business.
According to her, one pound of goat meat which used to sell at GH¢ 9 would GH¢14, and one pound of chicken sold at GH¢5, would go for GH¢9.
Mr. Adbul Mumuni, a taxi driver, who plies the Darkuman-Lapaz road said, the economic situation demanded that everybody put in place efficient plans in order to improve their standard of living.
“These are regular occurrences in election years, and so we must all learn how to save in order to survive,” he said.
Meanwhile, there was a brawl between a passenger and a bus conductor at the Lapaz-Nyamekye station when the conductor increased the fare without an official announcement by the local branch of the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU).