The Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC) has dismissed reports that transport fares have been increased by 15 percent effective today [February 6, 2017].
The council explains that it is yet to conclude discussions to determine new transport fares for the first pricing window of this year.
“From the point of GRTCC, there has not been any agreed fare increases effective today [February 6, 2017] but the situation could be described as work in progress for now,” the General Secretary of the GRTCC, Andrew Kwakye asserted.
Earlier reports indicated that passengers will be paying 15 percent more on transport fares from today.
But Andrew Kwakye explains to Citi Business News no such decision has been arrived at yet.
According to him, the change in government has delayed the processes leading to adjustment of transport fares.
“Though our fare reviews are done twice in every year, unfortunately for this year, there has been a transition with a new government in place so all of the engagements that we formally have with the Ministry in December and January have been delayed partly because there is no substantive minister in place. That is why we have given ourselves the whole of January,” he added.
Transport fares were increased by 15 percent for the first adjustment period in February 2016.
Discussions with Transport Ministry continues
Meanwhile, Mr. Kwakye has hinted to Citi Business News that the group will possibly meet with the Transport Ministry this week.
He further stated though some market surveys to guide the decision have already been carried out, it will be prudent to await the confirmation of the sector minister and subsequent deliberations before making any public announcements.
“…We are going to have serious engagements with the Ministry possibly from today. All the preliminary works have been done; we have done the market survey among others so that immediately the Minister is confirmed or otherwise, then we will have the meeting with the Ministry.”
It is unclear the margin of increase for this time round but Citi Business News understands some factors such as a drop in inflation could result in a marginal increase in the transport fares.
Taxi drivers increase fares by 20 percent
Earlier in January, checks by Citi Business News showed that some commercial drivers have already begun adjusting their fares following the increase in fuel prices in the first pricing window in January.
“For those of us floating drivers, we are at the mercy of the customers; some agree to adjustments in fares while others don’t; following the increases in petroleum prices, I charge 12 cedis for a distance I used to charge 10 cedis before the increase,” one taxi driver stated.
Another taxi driver who operates within the central business district asserted, “In fact, the passengers are our greatest challenge because they insist on paying the old fares. But if the passenger doesn’t oppose, I could charge 10 cedis for distances that I use to charge 8 or 7 cedis.”
The price of petrol and diesel went up between 8 and 11 percent for the first pricing window in January this year.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana