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Allow us increase fares or we’ll take full passenger capacity – GPRTU threatens

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) is seeking either an increase in transport fares or a return to the normal capacity of vehicles pre-COVID-19.

The GPRTU Vice Chairman, Robert Sarbah, said the trotro drivers, among others, had sacrificed enough.

The last increase in public transport fares was in September 2019 with a 10 percent increment.

Commercial drivers were in March 2020 directed to reduce the number of passengers they take in a bid to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus in Ghana.

Speaking on Citi FM, Mr. Sarbah said that the union was trying to petition the Minister or Transport on the matter.

Though they would prefer a return to the full capacity of vehicles over an increase in fares, Mr. Sarbah stressed that the drivers “cannot afford to be losing.”

“We can no longer bear this cost on ourselves. We had wanted to help but we don’t see the end of this COVID. That is why we think we should appeal to the Minister [of Transport] for us to take the completed number of passengers so that we take the old fares.”

In the meantime, he said the union members “are seriously agitating that they want to increase the lorry fares by themselves, but we have been able to prevail upon them to suspend that in view of us getting a petition to the Minister to see what the Minister can do.”

The union has given the Minister up to next week Wednesday for a response, Mr. Sarbah indicated.

If they wish to revert to their normal capacity, the union does not think it will increase the risk of COVID-19 spread.

The trotros and other commercial vehicles largely reduced their capacities to ensure social distancing.

“There has never been any proof or evidence that somebody has contracted this virus in any passenger vehicle in Ghana. There is no proof at all,” Mr Sarbah argued.

“If everybody is wearing the face mask, I don’t think we can transmit the virus within the vehicles.”

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