Transport fares up by 15 percent?

Some transport operators in the nation’s capital, Accra have increased their fares, a move that has been caused by an increase in fuel prices.

Although there has not been an official confirmation of the hike by the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), the umbrella body for transport operators, Myjoyonline.com’s Austin Brakopowers visited the lorry station at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange on Thursday and reports of the increment.

He reports that at some of the destination terminals transport fares have gone up by 10 percent and others by 15 percent.

Passengers heading to Russia, and Shukura, all suburbs in Accra, who were initially paying GHȻ1.70p are now paying GHȻ 2.00.

Also, some drivers are charging GHȻ 1.50ps from passengers heading to Kaneshie from the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange lorry park. The same distance a day or two ago cost passengers GHȻ 1.20p.

Transport fares for other destinations have also gone up at other transport yards.

However, at the New Town lorry park, the drivers have not increased fares charged passengers, Austin reports.

Some of the transport operators charging the revised fares told the reporter that the rising cost of fuel prices in the country are to blame for the hikes.

“We have changed the money we charge because the filling station operators have increased prices of petrol,” a driver who identified himself as Musa told the reporter.

“If fuel prices go down, we will also reduce the fares,” he added.

The development has angered passengers many of whom engaged in serious arguments with the drivers.

Though they are unhappy with the increment, the passengers had no option than to pay the money so as to get home safely.

FUEL PRICE HIKES

Within the last three months, fuel prices have been constantly reviewed upwards, constraining the finances of transport operators and other consumers.

Even though the price of crude oil at the international market is still hovering at 55 dollars a barrel, the depreciation of the cedi against the dollar means Ghanaians have to pay more for fuel.

The price build for fuel in Ghana is largely influenced by currency performance, prices of oil on the international market as well taxes imposed or abolished.

A change in each of these could either lead to an increase or decrease in prices of fuel in Ghana, even though the prices have barely been reviewed downwards.

With the cedi still on a free fall against the major currencies, fuel prices on the local market is set to experience another upward review.

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