Transport operators in Koforidua call for increase in fares
Koforidua, April 14, GNA - Various transport operators in Koforidua, have expressed concerned about the high cost of doing transport business, due to the recent increase in fuel prices, without any upwards adjustment of transport fares.
They have, therefore, called on the National Transport Coordinating Council to adjust transport fares, to correspond with the recent increases of petroleum products.
This came to light when the Ghana News Agency interacted with the various transport unions in the Koforidua Municipality, to find out their preparations towards the transportation of passengers during the Easter festivities.
According to them, if no action is taken to increase transport fares, they will go ahead to increase it themselves, since the situation at the moment is affecting their business.
Mr Samuel Sakyi of the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), said that, though Easter is approaching, there is no increase in the number of travelers as it used to be in previous years.
He attributed the high rate of road accidents in the country to frequent increase in petroleum products.
Mr Sakyi explained that, vehicle owners demand the same sales from drivers even when there is an increase in petroleum products.
Therefore, the drivers are forced to do their best to meet such demands which make them speed unnecessarily on the roads.
He said before the most recent increment of fuel prices, mini bus drivers spent 50 Ghana Cedis worth of fuel to travel to Accra and back, adding that drivers now have to buy 80 Ghana Cedis worth of fuel for the same distance, and continue to pay the same sales to their vehicle owners.
Mr Samuel Darko of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), also said transport business is becoming difficult in recent times, and the earlier the government comes to their aid, the better it will be for them.
He said drivers and vehicle owners were told that the National Transport Coordinating Council was going to announce new transport fares after the recent increase in fuel prices, but unfortunately nothing was heard from them.
Mr Darko said, drivers are waiting patiently for government to tell them something, else they would go ahead to increase fares.
The chairman of the Reform Co-operative Transport Society, Mr Isaac Boateng said although Easter is approaching, there is no sign of people travelling.
He attributed the situation to the economic hardships in the country, and also blamed fire outbreaks on the various markets which had made many people to lose large sums of money.
Mr Darko said such situation prevents people from travelling, because they do not have extra money for spending.
The chairman of the Okere Co-operetive Transport Society, Mr Samuel Ansah, said formerly by 12 mid-day more than 25 vehicles would have loaded, but at the time of the visit at 12 mid-day only four vehicles had moved.