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21.12.2004 General News

Commercial drivers increase fares arbitrarily

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Accra, Dec. 21, GNA - Commercial drivers in some parts of Accra have increased their fares, as they took advantage of demands of commuters moving around the city in preparation for the Christmas.

The fare from Achimota to Tema Station, one of the big lorry stations in Accra, which was 1,500 cedis, has shot up 2,000 cedis while drivers plying Makola Market to Lapaz are now charging 2,500 cedis in the evenings instead of the normal 1,500 cedis.

Some taxis plying Achimota to Accra have also doubled the fare to 10,000 cedis.

On Tuesday morning when a commercial lorry driver from Achimota to Tema Station announced to passengers he was charging 2,000 cedis, passengers protested, but some of them who were desperate and wanted to get to their destination at all costs persuaded other passengers to pay. "It is Christmas and it is their cocoa season so what can we do?" One passenger asked.

Most of the passengers, however, got down to wait for the Metro buses, which are mostly overloaded with passengers.

Some commercial drivers have also decided to ply shorter routes to the disadvantage of commuters travelling over longer routes.

Last Friday, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union of the Trade Union Congress (GPRTU of TUC) cautioned their members against such behaviour.

The National Executive Committee of the Union also cautioned drivers against drunkenness and overloading during this festive season.

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