Brawl over increase in transport fares

 There was near brawl on some commercial vehicles (trotro) from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Station to Ablekuma when passengers were informed of a sudden increase in transport fare imposed on them by drivers.

Passengers who refused to pay on grounds that the fare hike was not official were threatened with being prevented from boarding the vehicles or the driver refusing to move the car.

Passengers boarding a bus
Passengers boarding a bus

Drivers who were loading from the lorry stations asked their mates to collect the new fares before the vehicles could take off in order to avoid confrontation with the passengers.

Some drivers who spoke with the Ghanaian Times said they had no choice than to charge new fares in view of the hike in fuel prices that currently stand at the pump at GH¢60.00, a situation which was affecting their opera­tions.

“We will stop at nothing to get our money to help our business,” John Amakye, a driver plying the Kaneshie – Kasoa route, told this reporter.

A commuter, Mary Adjei, who stays at Awoshie, stated that her old fare was GH¢5.50 from Circle to Anyah market, but was now asked to pay GH¢6.50 as new price for her trip home.

Another passenger said he used to pay GH¢7.50 from the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange to Ableku­ma, but now pays GH¢9.50.

PRECIOUS NYARKO BOAKYE reports that some passengers who spoke with the Ghanaian Times reporter appealed to authorities in the transport sector to ensure they rescind their decision on the new fares.

The reporter, who was a pas­senger on a taxi, was compelled to part ways with GH¢7.00 in­stead of GH¢6.00 from Bortianor hills to the Kasoa tollbooth (Tuba junction).

From Kasoa tollbooth to Kwame Nkrumah Interchange is GH¢10.00 instead of GH¢9. 00 previously charged.

Meanwhile, long distance transport operators at Neoplan and Opoku Agyeman (OA) at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra and other trotro drivers have maintained the old fares.

At the time of filing this story, the General Secretary of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of the Trades Union Congress Ghana, Godfred Abulbire Adogma, and other executives were in a meeting.

Increase in transport fares is determined by the tripartite com­mittee, involving the Ministry of Transport, GPRTU and Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council.

It is recalled that the Ministry of Transport said negotiations with the various transport opera­tors in the country, for a possible increase in public transport fares, had not been concluded and no driver had the right to increase transport fare.

It had, therefore, entreated the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies to be on the lookout for any driver who flout­ed a directive jointly issued by the Ministry of Transport, GPRTU and GRTCC for drivers not to increase fares.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Transport on Sunday and copied to the Ghanaian Times said the ministry, GPRTU and the GRTCC in an earlier statement directed drivers not to arbitrary increase public transport fares.

Commercial drivers in the country had threatened to in­crease public transport fares due to rising cost of fuel and spare parts.

In some parts of the country, some drivers had already started charging new fares when new public transport fares had not been announced.


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