40% increase is inadequate - Hohoe commercial drivers
The Hohoe branch drivers of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union on Thursday (GPRTU) withdrew their vehicles from the road in demand of a 60 to 70 per cent adjustment in transport fares instead of the 40 per cent stipulated by the Transport Co-ordinating Council.
As a result, hundreds of commuters, especially those on the route to Accra, Aflao and Ho, got stranded at the main lorry park. According to Alhaji Awudu Moro, Chairman of Branch Number One of the GPRTU, the drivers contended that they would run at a loss if they adhered to the stipulated 40 per cent increase. Giving a breakdown of expenses made by the drivers, Mr Daniel Hehetror, Secretary of the Union, said Urvan bus drivers who are supposed to take 13 passengers and charge 18,200 cedis per passenger to Accra, make a total of 236,600 cedis a trip. He explained that in addition to buying seven gallons of petrol for the journey to Accra, a service fee of 25,000 cedis is paid by each Urvan bus together with other fees bringing total expenses to 246,000 cedis. Mr Hehetror said, the drivers therefore, make a loss of 10,000 cedis on each journey to Accra if compelled to charge stipulated fares. The Branch Secretary therefore, proposed an increase of 60 per cent to enable the drivers make a minimal profit.
Chief Superintendent Godwin Holly Worlewu, Hohoe district police commander however, advised the drivers to stick to the 40 per cent increase pending the outcome of a meeting between the GPRTU technical committee and the government on the issue.
The Hohoe District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr James Komla Dogbe who had earlier held a meeting with some of the stranded passengers who called at his office, asked the drivers to heed the government's directives. He said the Social Services sub-committee of the Assembly would hold a meeting with the Executives of the GPRTU and the Police to consider fares for drivers who ply other routes in the district.