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    Friday, May 19, 2023

    Ghana: Comply With Reduction in Fares

    Following any marginal increase in prices of petroleum products, commercial transport unions press for increment in fares for them to, at least, break even so they can remain in business.

    However, whenever there occurs marginal reduction in prices of petroleum products and fares have to be reduced, then transport operators offer all manner of excuses to reject that.

    Currently, there is a significant reduction in prices of petroleum products which has made it necessary for a directive to drivers to reduce fares by 10 per cent with effect from May 17.

    Days after the announcement by the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the Ghana Road and Transport Co-ordinating Council (GRTCC), drivers generally have refused to comply with the directive.

    They contend as always that fuel price is not the only factor of their operations.

    They mention other things like prices of spare parts, the daily takings for vehicle owners, and income tax.

    The drivers are right but must not forget the fact that all these had been factored into the fares but fuel is used daily and so it constitutes a greater percentage in determining fares.

    Besides, it is a factor whose price has a systematic way to determine and so it is easier to use that to effect changes in fares than the other factors, especially where the fuel price has seen continuous reductions over a certain period as it is the case in the current situation.

    We also wish to remind drivers that they have never applied the actual percentage reduction in fares even when they agree to comply with the reductions.

    This means drivers have been cheating passengers over the years in which case we can say they all along have been taking fares that are bloated to the hurt of passengers.

    That is to say that the current reduction would not affect them so much.

    Therefore, they should ease their entrenched position and reduce the fares and this time by the 10 per cent ordered, not less.

    While we say this, we are also aware of a section of drivers who are ready to reduce the fares and to these ones, we ask that they join the appeal to the others to do so.

    We know times are hard but the drivers must be considerate and acknowledge the fact that the whole public are affected by the hardship in the system and that their reduction in fares can cause reduction in food prices, for example.

    The compliance with the reduction can also save the clashes between drivers and their assistants or mates on one side and passengers on the other.

    It is unfortunate some drivers claim that although they had heard in the media about the reduction in fares, their leadership had not officially communicated it to them in writing.

    We hope if that is truly the case, then the GPRTU and other transport unions would do the needful and escape blame as that would deny any grounds for drivers to make wild allegations against the leadership.

    We hope matters would not come to a head for transport unions to toe a January 2015 GPRTU line, where this transport union ordered its members to effect a five-per cent reduction in fares or face sanction.

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