Saturday, 03 June

We won’t continue to pay current fares beyond May 22 – Passengers to transport unions

General News
The association called for its members to be represented at meetings where decisions regarding fares are made

The Association of Passengers Ghana (APG) has bemoaned the negative effect of the refusal of Transport Unions across the country to implement the proposed 10 per cent reduction in transport fares on its members.

“We are concerned about the negative impact this decision will have on passengers who were anticipating reduced fares,” the association noted in a statement issued on Friday, 19 May 2023, signed by its Convener Afia Kwarteng-Asamani.

The association which expressed its “surprise and disappointment at the recent decision made by the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU), Ghana Road Coordinating Council (GRCC), and the Ministry of Transport to withdraw the proposed 10 percent reduction in fares,” indicated the decision has “caused confusion among drivers and passengers alike”.

The APG is, therefore, demanding a “detailed explanation for the reasons” behind the sudden withdrawal.

The association is of the opinion that, “it is important for respected institutions such as GPRTU, GRCC, and the Ministry of Transport to provide transparent and accountable reasons for their actions.”

The association revealed that passengers will cease paying the old transport fares after Monday, 22 May 2023.

“Passengers will not continue to pay the old prices beyond Monday, 22nd May, 2023. 

“We firmly believe that passengers should not bear the burden of inconsistent decisions and should not be made to suffer due to a lack of coordination among transport authorities,” the association averred.

The association called for its members to be represented at meetings where “decisions regarding fares are made.

“It is crucial for the voices and concerns of passengers to be heard and considered during such deliberations to ensure a fair and equitable transport system.”

It also appealed to its members to “remain calm and patient,” awaiting the final decision of the transport unions next on Monday, 22 May 2023.

The Concerned Drivers Association (CDAG) earlier this week urged its members to disregard the recent calls for the reduction in transport fares and stick to the old fare.

“We are calling on our members to defy the information by the Transport Operators and continue with the already known fare,” the association said in a statement issued on Tuesday, 16 May 2023.

According to the association, “the drivers Unions and Associations were not consulted as stakeholders before arriving at the decrease in the fares.”

The association, therefore, stated emphatically that “transport fares cannot be reduced”. 

It noted that the “current decline in fuel prices cannot be the only indicator for the reduction of transport fares. 

“As we speak, taxes are on the high, road worthy has increased, insurance of vehicle increased and prices of spare parts also the high,” the association noted. 

It, therefore, urged the “general public to cooperate” with the association when joining vehicles. 

Leadership of the True Drivers Union also urge urged its members to withdraw all services rendered to passengers effective, Wednesday, 17 May 2023.

The move according to the Union had become necessary to avoid any scuffle between drivers and passengers as their leaders continue to engage the transport ministry over the 10 per cent reduction in transport fares.

The Road Transport Operators on Monday, 15 May 2023, announced a 10 per cent reduction in transport fares and urged all commercial transport operators to heed the directive.

Unhappy with the move, the True Drivers Union said they will not be rendering services to passengers.

According to the Union, drivers need good concentration and the right frame of mind when driving and confrontations and disturbances between their mates and passengers are a recipe for disaster.

The union in a statement also maintained that fuel remains last on the list of items they consider in pricing because there are other costs such as 15 per cent increase in DVLA service charge, a 30 per cent increase in insurance charges, an increase in spare parts cost, reintroduction of income tax and a high cost of living.

The Union said its members feel betrayed by the transport ministry because they were in the process of getting feedback from their members on the 10 per cent transport fare reduction proposal to come back to the negotiation table only for them to hear the reduction announcement in the media.