The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has said that it makes sense for the union and all commercial transport owners and drivers to reduce fares after the president directed them to return to taking passengers at full seating capacity.
The GPRTU acknowledged that if the reason for the increment of fares has been reversed, then it completely makes sense for them to also reduce lorry fares.
The National Vice-Chair of the GPRTU speaking in an interview with Happy 98.9 FM’s Samuel Eshun, host of the Happy Morning Show said, “Well, based on why the increment on 11th July happened, it’ll make sense to reduce fares. If social distancing in commercial vehicles is no more, then we should reduce fares.”
He, however, stressed on the fact that transport fares will not be reduced by 15% because driver unions will have to recoup losses they made from March when social distancing in commercial vehicles started. “We’ve made some losses and cannot forgo all 15%. We will like to keep a percentage for ourselves to recoup some losses we made over the period.”
Robert Sabbah was quick to note that the transport unions are yet to agree on a reduction percentage with the Transport Ministry. “We’re still in talks with the Transport Ministry but cannot forgo all the 15%. I cannot tell how much of the fare will be reduced by. But we will inform the public of the reduction after our meeting,” he reiterated.
As part of measures to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the President of Ghana, Akufo-Addo directed commercial transport operators to reduce the number of passengers they carried per row by one, in order to ensure social distancing.
After the directive, commercial transport operators cried of the losses they suffered and lorry fares were increased by 15% to help them recoup some of their losses.
However, during President Akufo-Addo’s 14th address to update the public on measures taken by the government to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the president withdrew his order and said commercial vehicles can now carry passengers at their full seating capacity.
This reversal resulted in the public and The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) calling for a reduction in lorry fares as they believed drivers were no more making losses.
By: Joel Sanco