Commercial drivers who cross the Volta River using the new Senchi Ferry at the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region have increased transportation fares.
The increase, according to the drivers, is as a result of the high charges imposed by the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) to ferry their vehicles across the Volta Lake at Senchi to Old Akrade and vice versa.
Drivers are charged between GH¢10 and GH¢20, depending on the weight of their vehicle, before their vehicles are ferried across the Lower Volta at Senchi as against the GH₵1 and GH₵2 they paid to cross the Adomi Bridge at Atimpoku.
The high ferry charge, The Finder gathered at the site, was due to the high cost of fuelling the ferry and maintenance.
The drivers explained that the new charges needed to be transferred to the travelling public as it was too high for them to bear.
Consequently, the fare between Ashaiman and Ho, which used to be GH¢10, is now GH¢12 and between Ashaiman and Hohoe has increased from GH¢13 to GH¢15.
Commercial drivers who commute between Kpong and Juapong have drastically increased their fares and the travelling public would have to brace themselves up to pay more in future when prices of petroleum products are reviewed upward.
Comparing the old toll charge of between GH¢1 and GH¢2 they paid using the Adomi Bridge at Atimpoku, which has been closed down for two-year rehabilitation works, a saloon car driver described it as ‘crazy’ to be charged a round trip of GH¢20 to be ferried across the Volta to Juapong for a funeral.
“I was only going for a funeral at Juapong and I am to pay GH¢10 to be ferried across the river. I must pay the same amount when I am returning to Kpong,” the angry driver said.
Commuters The Finder interacted with at the ferry landing site bitterly complained of the new transportation fares they were made to pay, which they noted would greatly affect their income if the situation should persist.
A commuter said, “It is less than a week when the ferry started operation and the new transportation fares are already having a severe toll on us. If the high toll charges and fares should persist, then we can no more travel for the rest of the months in the two years the Adomi Bridge would be closed to traffic.”
The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) is charging drivers the high amounts to raise money to run and maintain the ferry without government support.
The Senchi Ferry started work on Monday, March 10 after the closure of the Adomi Bridge at Atimpoku in the Asuogyaman District.