Transport fares:15% increase is not enough- GPRTU

Some commercial transport operators have said the 15% increase in fare is not enough considering the fact that it had been about a yearlong before the current announced adjustment beginning Thursday April 6, 2017.

“I don’t think it is quite enough, we thought the minimum for the increase should have been not less than 25%, looking at the trend of increases in fuel since 2016 up till date”; Chairman of the Takoradi-Swedru branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Mr. Kwesi Ansah told Takoradi based Melody FM.

A release dated Monday April 3, 2017 from the Road Transport Operators the said the new fares will affect intra-city (trotro), inter-city (long distance), and taxi services.

The group said: “In line with the Administrative Instrument on public transport fares, the Road Transport Operators have reviewed the prices of the various elements that go into running of commercial transport services and have increased transport fares by 15%, the Road Transport Operators have therefore issued new road transport fares”.

Mr. Kwesi Ansah, noted that transport operators have an agreement with the Transport Ministry on price increase. “Every year, there should be a price review of transport fares looking at the market trends, and the new Executives did not do their job well…sat down idle for this thing to go over the drivers and car owners a year and over. So we think the 15% is quite minimal and below the belt”, he stressed.

There has been public outcry especially on social media regarding the action by the Road Transport Operators. Against the backdrop of a stable currency, the recent reduction in the price of fuel and announced scrapping of import tax on second hand spare parts; many are those who least expected the fare increase.  But Mr. Ansah argued that the policies outlined in the 2017 budget were yet to be executed.

“The budget was read I think last month, and there’s an indication that…lets maybe parliament approve. But we are still buying our parts at high cost, and the fuel that is coming down is coming down in pesewas, very insignificant, which is not going well with the transporters. So we feel we are being cheated”; he revealed. According to him, while other traders were increasing prices of their wares within the past year, “transporters had difficulty running the industry”.

By: Joe Bright Nyarko

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