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29.05.2007 General News

Commuters accept new Metro fares


The nationwide increase in fares by the Metro Mass Transport has not impacted negatively on commuters in Brong Ahafo region.

However some commuters have questioned why the increases have not been announced officially.

Major Gabriel Ankoma (rtd), Traffic Manager of the Sunyani branch of
the Metro Mass System said that although the directive for the increases came from the head office a day before it took effect, commuters had accepted the new fares without much complaint.

"This is because the new fares are still lower than fares charged by
other transport bodies", he said.

Major Ankoma said the increase was not the first by the company since
way back in October last year it raised fares on four of its routes.

He however entreated commuters to expect "slight" increases
periodically to meet the cost in its operations.

The Traffic Manager debunked the notion that the company was hiking
fares because of the world wide oil price increases.

"The new fares are meant to ensure the sustainability of the company
and fulfilling its purpose of giving affordable transportation to the rural majority", Major Ankoma said.

He added: "We want passengers to understand that our operations are
not going to be a nine day wonder. Our aim is to sustain our business to offer affordable transportation to the masses hence the increment in fares".

The Traffic Manager appealed to commuters to insist on their tickets,
which must correspond with the fare they have been charged, as well as that of their luggage.

"Some of the conductors have taken advantage of the ignorance of
some passengers and had engaged in fraudulent activities", he said.

"This practice has been a major problem facing us since we started
operations in the region three years ago".

The traffic manager said 32 conductors had so far been sacked for
ticket malpractices, including under issuing of tickets, sale of used tickets and outright refusal to issue out tickets.

"A conductor who was employed just last week was sacked for
concealing in his bag old tickets costing 30,000 cedis which he sold to unsuspecting passengers", Major Ankoma said.

He announced that 20 new buses for long distance services are
expected soon to augment their operations in and out of the region.

The new fares, an increase of 2,000 cedis on the previous charges
affected four routes namely Dormaa, Drobo, Acherensua and Techiman.

Source: GNA