Transport operators across the country are yet to uniformly comply with the announced 15.3 per cent reduction in transport fares.
While others have decreased their fares, others have refused to adhere to directives by the various transport unions to reduce the fares with the excuse that the leadership of the unions have not calculated and printed out a tabulation of the new fares.
The situation resulted in heated exchanges between some passengers and commercial bus drivers and conductors.
In separate interviews with Ghanaian Times, Elizabeth Offei reports that drivers at Mallam, explained that the leadership of their unions had not released the new fares to them hence, they would continue to take the old fares.
Before the announcement, commuters from Mallam to Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Central Business District (CBD) and Kaneshie were paying GH¢7.00, GH¢7.00 and GH¢6.00 respectively.
The drivers argued that the fares would remain same until printed-out list of fares was handed over them.
Although angry, most of the commuters were willing to pay the old fare to avoid being late for work or other appointments.
A commuter, Mr Yaw Ankomah, a resident of Dansoman, expressed his discontent with how Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) was delaying in reducing the fares and giving the drivers the new fare to use.
“When GPRTU was increasing transport fares in October, they did not delay, it was increased on the exact day they scheduled, the new transport fares has to be released in order not to attract any ruckus,” he stated.
Another commuter from Ablekuma, Ms Agnes Bilson, said drivers and commercial bus conductors were using GPRTU as an excuse to cheat on them meanwhile GPRTU would not have communicated the reduction in transport fares if they were not ready to adhere to it.
A student who resides at Dzorwulu, Charity Asuka, on her part, said the transport fares had been reduced as stated by GPRTU.
“The fare I usually pay when I board a commercial bus from Dzorwulu to Circle has been reduced by 50 pesewas, now I pay GH¢5.50 pesewas instead of GH¢6 for transportation,” she explained.
She added that, although the amount deducted was very little, it was more comforting than the previous.
Mr Yaw Oduro, also at Circle, alluded to the fact that the fares remained same and advised GPRTU to release a statement to clear the confusion among drivers and commuters.
Jessel Lartey Therson-Cofie reports that vehicles travelling from the Mamprobi enclave in the Ablekuma South Municipality to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange area did not reduce their fare.
Some passengers after several verbal exchanges, however, refused to pay the old fare of GH¢5.00 and opted to pay only a reduced fare of GH¢4.00.
Also, commercial buses travelling from Burma Camp towards the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange area, had reduced the transport fare.
Anita Ankrah reports that commercial buses plying the Adenta-Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange route were yet to comply with the directive to reduce the transports fares.
Some passengers were forced to pay the old fare of GH¢10.00 after several verbal exchanges with the bus conductor.
The situation on the Accra-Madina-Abokobi-Teiman route was no different, as reported Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu.
The drivers have refused to readjust their fares in line with the announcement.
The fare for a trip from Madina to Teiman-Abokobi remained at GH¢6.00 while passengers traveling from Abokobi to Kwame Nkrumah Interchange or Accra CBD were still required to pay GH¢12.00.
They also argued that the union leaders were yet to give them a calculation of the new fares and so “we cannot do anything when our leaders have not done it.”
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the GPRTU on December 16 urged commercial transport operators to comply with the new fares and post copies at their loading terminals.
“We further request all operators, commuters and the general public to kindly cooperate for the successful implementation of the new fares,” it said.
In a related development, the Ministry of Transport said it had negotiated with transport operators to reduce the fares to a margin that would be favourable to passengers and transport operators.
BY TIMES REPORTERS