The Mirror Lifestyle Content

The private transport drivers have refused to reduce fares.­
The private transport drivers have refused to reduce fares.­


The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) had endorsed the announcement and so were other private transport groups.


One assumed, therefore, that the leadership would dialogue with and persuade their members to reduce fares – with the same alacrity with which they increase fares. That has not happened, yet there are even mercenary twists to the story.

On Sunday, May 14, 2023, days after the announcement, a Santasi-Sofoline bound trotro had increased the fare from GHȼ2.50 to GHȼ3.00. When I inquired about the reverse action, the mate retorted that they (drivers and mates) had previously ignored the announcement, which is the reason it had been repeated.

He boasted that they would continue to ignore it. I responded that they could do that only because we live in a lawless country. In a law-abiding country, they would be compelled to follow the state directive.

On Monday, May 22, 2023, a Sunyani-Kumasi bound bus also charged GHȼ40.00 as before. When passengers protested, first, “ the loading man”, then the driver both argued that only fuel price was reduced. Spare parts prices had not been reduced; therefore, they would not reduce car fares. On the same day, a Patasi Estate-Adum bound taxi also charged the old fare, GHȼ5.00.

On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, a resident of Sunyani complained that taxis were still charging GHȼ4.00 instead of GHȼ3.60 per the 10 per cent reduction. It can be inferred from the bus driver’s argument that the taxis had assumed a similar stance.

However, a passenger had explained that he had boarded commercial vehicles in the Eastern Region and had paid fares reflecting the 10 per cent  reduction.


In effect, some law-abiding drivers have reduced fares by 10 per cent as directed by the state but the greedy and those lacking discipline have defied the order. The latter are probably the same drivers who do not even wait for the GPRTU directive to increase fares when fuel prices go up. Government announces prices, such greedy drivers arbitrarily increase fares.

Additionally, driver groups have different ways of siphoning money from passengers’ pockets. Often, fares constitute cedis and pesewas. Drivers would round up the figure, upwards to avoid the hassles of change.

If one lives by the adage “little drops of water make a mighty ocean”, one can deduce how much gets stolen from passengers through such driver illogic. Occasionally, one hears of the pesewas being written off for the same reason but it usually goes against passengers.

The argument that prices of car parts have not been reduced to warrant reduction of car fares is really odd. Are such drivers oblivious of the realities of car business? Vehicles must be serviced and maintained. Repair works are inevitable. Wear and tear attract constant attention.

Revenue from the running vehicle incorporate such exigencies. In other words, the drivers are crying over issues already factored into charges. Therefore, to use that argument to defy state orders is a non-starter and simply greedy.

I am not denying that maintaining a commercial vehicle is extremely costly, considering the overall commodity price hikes. That would be ignorant on my part. My argument is that using that to defy a state order to ease passengers’ financial burden is unethical.

There is no law stipulating that increases in transport fares can be initiated by the state alone. If the GPRTU and the other private transport groups were really organised, they would have a vehicle maintenance culture that would be upheld by their members. A well-monitoring system would keep stakeholders abreast of the cost of vehicle maintenance.

Subsequently, when the fares become inadequate in the overall administration of the vehicle, the unions can negotiate with the government for fare increase. However, the private transport unions have no maintenance culture; many tragic accidents occur due to sheer vehicular neglect: Rickety vehicles are imposed on passengers, engine oil is never changed on time, routine servicing is virtually non-existent, detected faults are ignored till they worsen to make vehicles breakdown, leaving passengers stranded in the middle of nowhere, subjecting such to all kinds of risks.

Hence, the sector can negotiate fare increases only upon the government increasing fuel prices. Intrepid, cowardly drivers/mates then bully passengers instead of pressurising their unions to honour their organisational responsibilities.

The Ghanaian passenger is a constant punching bag for greedy private transport operators. It is unfair. It is time the GPRTU ensured that its members  operate ethically to dignify the Ghanaian passenger..

The writer is a senior lecturer, Language and Communication Skills, Takoradi Technical University, Takoradi.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...