Driver Commuters In Face-Off
Commuters in the Accra Metropolis are up in arms against transport operators over what they describe as ‘sharp increase in transport fares.’
They claim commercial drivers and other transport operators are charging unrealistic fares under the guise of the recent increase in the price of some petroleum products.
Others alleged that even before the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) officials announced the official fares, some drivers had already increased their fares ahead of the official announcement.
Per the new transport fares, commuters are expected to witness an increment in transport fares by 20 percent effective Saturday, September 14.
DAILY GUIDE’s visit to many lorry stations yesterday revealed general dissatisfaction among commuters in the metropolis.
At the Fadama North Kaneshie lorry station, Ekow Karikari, a taxi driver stated that passengers were complaining about new transport fares, indicating that generally there had been a 20 pesewa increment in all fares at the station.
He said currently a North Kaneshie Fadama taxi fare is GH¢1.20 while that of Kaneshie to Industrial Area is GH¢1.10, a 20 pesewa increment over the old fares of GH¢1 and 90 pesewas respectively.
According to Mr. Karikari, majority of commuters had complained about the new high fares.
At the Asamankese-Kade Lorry station at the Neoplan Station Augustine Adjei, a transport ticket vendor, popularly caller ‘load man,’ said there had not been any complaint because passengers had braced themselves up for the new fares.
He disclosed that there has been a 50 pesewas increment in all fares at the station, adding that ‘we did not increase it so much to cause any problems for ourselves and the passengers.’
Richard K. Ologo, Station Master for the Biakoye Taxi Unit also at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, disclosed that most of the passengers were grumbling over the new fares though the station had decided to maintain some of the old fares for some of its routes.
Mentioning that the station had maintained the old fares on routes such as Circle to Dansoman, he said commuters were unhappy with the new fares.
The situation was not different at the Abeka-Lapaz Korle-Bu Station.
Vice-Station Master, John Ackon, insisted commuters reacted negatively to the new fares resulting in passengers calling drivers and their conductors thieves.
He explained: ‘By all means they have to react because the rate at which transport fares are increased in this country is not the same way salaries of workers are increased’.
Though Mr. Ackon claimed he advised his drivers not to force passengers who are not willing to pay the new fares, he further added that there had been an increment in transport fares across board at the station because ‘it is the necessary evil.’
Emmnauel Aryee, who disagrees, believes it was not prudent for transport operators to increase their fares by that percentage.
He blamed government for playing politics with the basic issues relating to the lives of the citizenry, including petroleum products.
In the view of Mr. Aryee, government is simply insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.
By Kofi Johnson
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