Following calls for an increase in transport fares by the various drivers unions, transport fares have been increased by 15 percent, effective Saturday, July 11, 2020.
This was made public by the Deputy Transport Minister, Titus Glover in an interview with Accra based Adom FM.
According to him, the decision was reached on Tuesday after broad consultations with all stakeholders highlighting the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the transport sector in Ghana.
“We have all agreed that indeed the drivers have helped in observing the Covid-19 protocols. It is for this reason that we have agreed to increase the fares.
“This cuts across board, taxis, trotros, long distance vehicles and cargo trucks. It takes effect from Saturday, July 11, 2020,” Mr Glover said.
The increase comes a day after the leadership of a group calling itself Concerned Drivers Union threatened to increase fares by 30 percent due to the increase in fuel prices.
Commercial drivers have had to deal with a reduction in their incomes as a result of reduced intake of passengers to curb the spread of the virus.
He added that the drivers have agreed to continue to observe social distancing by reducing the intake of passengers.
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.”