General News of 2014-04-06

Kumasi: Taxi drivers kick against fare hikes

Ahead of an announcement from the ongoing consultative review of transport fares by the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council, taxi drivers in the Ashanti region are on a rather unusual note, kicking against any attempts to increase fares.

According to the drivers, any upward review of the already expensive taxi charges will compel their customers to abandon taxis for less expensive means of transport.

The Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC) had hinted new fares were going to be announced on Friday April 4, 2014 in reaction to the latest fuel price increases. The consultative meeting, however, could not release the new fares as scheduled, because the Transport Ministry, whose presence is vital to the discussions, did not turn up.

Though transport unions in the Ashanti region, notably the Ghana Private Roads Transport Union, PROTOA and Co-Operative transport union have already begun advocating fare increments, awaiting the announcement, some taxi drivers in the Kumasi Metropolis in an interview with Ultimate Radio insist they would prefer to stick to the existing fares as the yet-to-be approved taxi fares may deter people from patronizing taxis.

“Things are tough now, and our charges are already high. From Anloga junction to Santasi alone we charge 1 cedi 60 pesewas, and how much more should we charge again. People will rather want to board trotro and pay 1 cedi 20 pesewas and leave us here,” one taxi driver bemoaned.

“If they want us to park our cars and get out of business they should tell us. As for me, I will keep charging my normal price, I don’t know what they want to do with taxi prices now,” another taxi cab driver fumed.

“Any price increase will affect our work as taxi drivers, for us, we are awaiting the prices and we will just have to take the increases when they come in,” a driver complained.

Per the increments, petrol and diesel now sell at GH¢2.73 and GH¢2.79 per liter respectively. Premix fuel has gone up by 3.5 percent and now sells at 1 cedi 20 pesewas per litter.

The GRTCC has already made its stance known, indicating that the latest upward adjustments require that they increase transport fares.

Deputy National Chairman of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council, George Baffour Owusu Afriyie, told Ultimate Radio, “Though the new fares are yet to be agreed upon, the fares will also take into account the current prices of vehicle spare parts and other vehicle consumables on the market.”