LET’S AVOID CONFRONTATION IN “TROTROS”

The  Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC), in a joint statement to the media last Friday announced of an upward adjustment in lorry fares which took effect yesterday countrywide.

The upward adjustment in fares have become necessary due to what transport operators say is increase in the prices of crude oil on the international market and cost of spare parts. The GPRTU demanded for 15 per cent increment but the GRTCC managed to agree with the union to peg the increment at 10 per cent.

It is a ritual that anytime there is an increase in transport fares, it results in unnecessary confrontations in commercial vehicles with both the transport operators and the passengers taking entrenched positions.

We are inclined to believe that the implementation of the new fares will result in the old age transportation ‘fight’ again! But we shudder to say that it is needless to engage in confrontation over the fares after a lot of computations have gone into it.

Some transport operators have the tendency to round up the figure in their interest, especially when it is an odd figure. And this is what usually turns into confrontations between the passenger and the driver mates of commercial vehicles popularly known as ‘trotro’.

For instance some commercial transport operators have decided not to use the five pesewa coin as a legal tender because of the tendency to round up the figure to 10 pesewas. For instance a trotro fare that could have been GH¢1.05 pesewas would be rounded up to GH¢1.10 pesewas.

This brings a lot of argument between passengers and commercial transport operators. The consequence of this is that we as citizens have on our own taken the law into our hands to reject a legal tender and the Bank of Ghana is keeping mute over it.

So, we will like to ask whether the five pesewas coin is still a legal tender in Ghana? Why do we have the malls quoting their prices in five pesewas coins and give out as such as change, when others will not take it in the exchange of goods and services outside the confines of the malls?

We at the Ghanaian Times call for a smooth take off in the new lorry fares devoid of confrontations for peace and tranquility on our journeys. Such confrontations engender emotions and passions that could lead to road crashes. We must avoid that!

Usually, increases in lorry fares automatically trigger increase in foodstuffs and result in unbearable cost of living. We will like to appeal to the stakeholders to manage the increase so that it does not bring unnecessary confrontation among the travelling public as well as untold hardship in the cost of living of the ordinary Ghanaian.

We will like to appeal to the government to consider waiving or reducing the taxes and other import duties on some vehicle parts that are used for pro-poor commercial purposes, as a kind of social protection for the travelling public, especially workers who heavily patronise the services of trotros because of unreliable and inefficient public transport systems in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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