Mixed reaction greets transport fare increase

Kwaku Ofori Asiamah,Minister of Transport (4)

Kwaku Ofori Asiamah,Minister of Transport 

While some commuters were aware of the changes and were willing to pay, a few others were concerned about persistent increases without corresponding increase in salaries and wages of workers.

The Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC) and Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) jointly announced that in consultation with government and other stakeholders, transport fares would be increased by 10 per cent effective Monday, June 4, 2018.

According to them, the increase in fare was to accommodate predominant upward review of fuel prices.

The revision was to cover intra-city, popularly known as “trotro”, intercity and shared taxis.

However, checks by Ghanaian Times at some bus terminals in the Greater Accra Region revealed that while some passengers have been complying with the adjustments, others were hostile to the increment.

Some passengers were not pleased with the increases, while others were not happy but expressed readiness to deal with the adjustment.

Expressing his anger at the review of fares, Mr Daniel Mensah, a passenger, said that he was aware of the increment but actually did not know how much to pay.

“I experienced an increase in fares as I was made to pay GH¢0.20 more than I usually do on my way to work, although I was aware of the increase in transport fares, I did not know how much more I would have to pay, most of the passengers in the car seemed to be aware of the increment as well and asked the mate for an official sheet with the new fares but he was unable to produce one”.

Another passenger, Emelia Arthur observed that the news of the increase led to misunderstanding in a bus he boarded to work.

“I pay GH¢1.40 when I’m going to work but this morning there was an increase in the price by 20 pesewas, people in the car were not happy when they were asked to pay twenty pesewas more, it seems like the announcement on the increase did not get far so they were not aware about the increment which resulted in a fight in the car with some people even attempting to beat the mate,” she narrated.

Mr David Asare, another passenger who travelled to work from Nsawam to Accra everyday, indicated that he was not surprised about the increase because he was aware of the increase in petroleum products.

Mr Solomon Mintah, a driver at the Kwame Nkrumah circle, said he was not expecting any reaction from the passengers because the increase was long overdue as prices of fuel have been on the upward move for a long period.

Some passengers, despite the increase, applauded the GRTCC and GPRTU for settling on the 10 per cent increment although the operators preferred more, arguing that “the leadership has been sensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.”

It would be recalled that fares went up by 15 per cent in April last year even though government reduced the Special Petroleum Tax Rate from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent and further abolished duty on the importation of spare parts.

By Claude Nyarko Adams and Benedicta Gyimaah Folley

 

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