Transport fares reduced by 10% effective Saturday
From Saturday, August 1, 2020, transport fares are to be brought down by 10 percent.
The reduction follows a meeting yesterday between the government and the various transport unions in the country.
The announcement of the 10 percent decrease came at a time when fares had been increased by 15 percent about two weeks ago.
The 15 percent increment was arrived at despite consistent pleas by the transport unions to the government to grant them a 50 percent increment.
They based the argument for the 50 percent addition on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, which saw them reducing the number of passengers per trip. They stressed that reducing passengers and charging the same amount of fares affected their revenues greatly.
Meanwhile, upon negotiations, the government and the unions came to a common ground that only 15 percent should be added. Though passengers were not happy with the 15 percent increase, some drivers even unlawfully added as high as 40 percent.
In his 14th address to the nation on the COVID-19 management, President Akufo-Addo lifted the restrictions on passengers, permitting drivers to load at full capacity.
Patrons of commercial vehicles began advocating for a reduction, since the drivers are now to load to the full.
Yesterday, the National Chairman of the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU), Kwame Kuma, confirmed the reduction in an interview on Asempa FM.
According to him, the union and government had a meeting on the issue last Monday and concluded on Tuesday.
“It is true. Because of government’s decision that we can take our full passengers, it was wise for us to also reduce the fares. So, we met to discuss it, and agreed on a 10% reduction taking effect from Saturday, August 1, 2020, at all stations,” he stated.
He acknowledged that though the increment was 15%, they had gone through hard times when they had to reduce the number of passengers, so the 5% left may cushion them for the loss.
He then urged all drivers to accept whole heartedly the 10% reduction, but swiftly condemned those who, instead of the previous 15%, increased their fares by 40%.
He called on them to let the new reduction reflect that of the 15%, and not their illegal 40%.
“I will plead with all of them to reduce their fares, because we are now loading at full capacity from August 1. Our argument was based on the social distance which government has lifted, so now there is no defense.”
Kwame Kuma used the opportunity to advise drivers to ensure all passengers wear nose masks before boarding the vehicles, stressing that the police could arrest a driver for not wearing a nose mask.