Commuters in Ghana will have to pay an average of 15% more for transport fares from Saturday, July 11, 2020.
The rise, announced by a Deputy Transport Minister, Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, follows a meeting with transport operators on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.
Transport operators had made an alternative proposal, which was for the government to allow them to revert to carrying their usual full seating capacity or an upward adjustment to cover for the loss in social distancing.
Glover said after considering both proposals, the government decided to approve the increment in transport fares.
“The transport unions made an application to the Ministry that because of the COVID-19 and government has asked them not to load full capacity, they are losing a lot of money because of the running cost of their operations… They came with two applications that the government should allow them to run full seating capacity or we should allow them to increase the transport fares.
“This afternoon, we held a meeting and we’ve all agreed that with effect from Saturday 11th of this month [July], we have increased transport fares by 15% and in going forward, they should continue to hold the safety COVID-19 protocols,” he added.
The Deputy Minister said the unions have been tasked to also print and post the new fares in their vehicles and at their respective stations to inform passengers and avoid altercations.
There has been growing concerns among transport unions in Ghana after the government reduced intake of passengers to maintain social distancing in buses.
The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) earlier in July said it was making huge losses over the directive adding that an increase in transport fares or a return to the normal seating capacity of vehicles pre-COVID-19.
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 to ensure social distancing and help reduce the spread of Coronavirus in Ghana.
A group calling itself the Concerned Drivers Union had also threatened to increase its transport fares by 30 percent, following the increases in fuel prices.
Source: Daily Mail GH