Some members of the public have expressed mixed reactions to the increment in public transport fares and have called for the reduction in the 19 per cent increment announced.
The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) agreed on the rate at a meeting with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Tuesday.
However some members of the public in an interview with the Ghanaian Times yesterday maintained that despite the frequent increment of fuel prices, the decision to increase transport fares by 19 per cent was uncalled for, due to the high cost of living in the country.
Some drivers of public transport, popularly known as trotro, plying the Kasoa, Mallam and Accra routes as at Thursday October 27 were charging GH¢9.40pesewas as fares from Kasoa to Circle instead of the usual GH¢7.50 pesewas.
Passengers were being charged GHC5.50 pesewas from Lapaz to Circle which used to be GH¢4.00.
Fare from Circle to Teshie which used to be GH¢3.80pesewas is now GH¢5.00.
Meanwhile the Ghanaian Times observed that commercial vehicle operators stationed at the Odawna and Neoplan stations at Circle, Accra, had not started charging the new fares yet.
They told the paper that they were patiently waiting for October 29, to effect the new charges.
Mr Kofi Edusei, a trader said he sells second hand clothing at Tip Toe Lane, Circle and made a daily profit of not more than GH¢80.00 on a good day but lamented that the frequent increment in transport fares was adversely affecting his business.
He said he resided at Weija, near Kasoa and so after deducting his transport fare from his daily profit, the amount left was nothing to write home about.
He stated that he was considering relocating to the Kasoa old market but feared he would not be able to make enough sales.
Ms Agnes Tweneboah, another commuter indicated that she was contemplating quitting her job as a receptionist, as transport fares had taken more than half of her salary already.
“Nowadays it has become difficult for me to cope due to the high cost of living in Ghana. If I have to spend almost all my salary on transport and ensure I do not have lunch every day at work just to be able to save some money for the house then I feel it is better I quit this job.”
“I feel it is not worth all the stress I go through daily. I cannot blame the trotro drivers entirely but they should also have mercy on us and manage, as we are managing. 19 per cent increment is just too much,” she lamented.
Mr Nathan Quarcoopome, a father of four and resident of Odorkor, Accra, indicated that he parked his salon car to join public transport because of the high cost of fuel prices in the country but now had to face frequent increment in transport fares, saying “there is no way we can avoid this harsh economic condition.”
He called on authorities to as a matter of urgency find ways of addressing the country’s economic crisis, stressing many were currently struggling with feeding themselves.
Mr Anthony Brobbey, a commercial driver told the Ghanaian Times that he did not take pleasure in seeing passengers complain about high transport fares but the increment was necessary to keep drivers in business.
“Things have become extremely difficult for all of us, not just passengers so they should just bear with us and manage as we wait for better days,” he added.
Mr Kojo Kyere, a footwear seller at the Pedestrian shopping area, Odawna, stated that the new fares would obviously affect prices of goods and services and further plunge some people into poverty.
When transport fares go up, he said he automatically adjusts the prices of his goods, adding that he could not be paying more to convey his wares from the wholesale point to the retail area and still maintain old prices.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU