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01.03.2005 Regional News

Embrace 30 percent fare increase - Agona drivers urged

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Agona Swedru, March 1, GNA - The Agona District branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA) have appealed to the government to consider an upward adjustment in transport fares to reflect the high cost of spare parts. Mr Isaac Otabil, Chairman of the Swedru/Texaco branch of the GPRTU, said even though they welcome the 30 percent increase announced by the government following the recent increase in the prices of fuel other things go into the running of transport apart of fuel.

Mr Otabil who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency at Agona Swedru after two transport organisations met the District Security Council (DISEC) to fix new lorry fares, said the government should consider their appeal in the light of the current high cost of vehicles and insurance premiums among other factors. He pointed out that drivers had to run at a loss when the government increased the prices of petroleum products in 2001 due to the high cost of spare parts.

The GPRTU Chairman Mr Otabil said the expectation of drivers following the fuel price increases was at least a hike of 50 percent, adding that, the 30 percent was woefully inadequate. He asked drivers to adhere to the new fares and said the fare from Swedru-Cape Coast was 13,000 cedis small and 11,000 big buses, Swedru/Mankessim 9000 cedis, Swedru/Assin Fosu 16,000 cedis and 14,000, Swedru/Obuasi 25,000 cedis and Swedru/Kumasi 30,000. The Regional Chairman of PROTOA, Nana Yaw Fayah, warned drivers plying the Swedru/Accra, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Nyakrom and Nkum routes to refrain from charging above the approved fares.

Meanwhile passengers from Accra/ Swedru have expressed concern about the charging of 10,000 cedis instead of the new fare of 9000 and 8000 cedis for big and small buses respectively. Mr Kojo Adu-Brenya, a businessman told GNA that it was unfortunate that drivers were charging different fares from Accra to Swedru and from Swedru to Accra and appealed to the transport organisations and the security agencies to ensure compliance of the new fares.

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