In less than 24 hours after President Akufo-Addo announced that commercial vehicles can operate in full capacity, there have been several calls for a reduction in transport fares.
However, this move, drivers say, will affect their business considering the recent increment in fuel prices. Speaking to GhanaWeb, they decried that the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) and passengers are not being fair to them.
Up until July 27, 2020, commercial drivers were operating at half capacity due to the congestion in buses and as one of the measures to curb COVID-19 through social distancing.
But according to ‘trotro’ drivers, the mandate by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo affected their daily sales.
“The government will soon increase fuel prices, once again, drivers will be asked not to increase fare prices. Passengers are aware that we were running at a lose we, therefore, don’t understand those who are calling for the reduction,” said a driver at the Kanieshie Trotro Station.
COPEC, on Sunday, July 26, 2020, released a statement calling for the immediate reduction in transport fares following the alleviation directive by the president.
“We are calling on some of our major stakeholders in the transport sector including the GPRTU, Concerned Drivers Association, Committed Drivers Association and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council to immediately without fail, ensure that transport fares are reversed by close of day tomorrow, not only to previous rates but a further 5% reduction possibly on the previous rates before these recent increases since fuel price variance as at this point remains positive by at least a further 12% from the pre-COVID-19 lockdown period”.
Some passengers, who agitated on the increased fare, did not hesitate to state their displeasure. Most of these commuters were involved in confrontations with drivers on why they continue to charge the old fare despite the increase in seating capacity.
According to some who spoke to GhanaWeb, they are now living in fear as a result of the president’s direction which, they said, has broken the social distancing protocol in commercial vehicles.
“I am really scared, just take a look at how we are packed in this bus, they is not physical distancing between us,” said a passenger.
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