Transport operators agree to reduce transport fares by 10 percent from Aug 1

Transport operators agree to reduce transport fares by 10 percent from Aug 1

Transport operators have agreed to reduce transport fares by 10 percent beginning August 1, 2020.

This follows the decision of the government to relax the COVID-19 restrictions and allow public transports to load full capacity.

The leadership of various transport unions met in Accra on Monday, July 27, 2020, and agreed on the reduction.

They have consequently agreed to issue a communique to all member transport unions for them to implement the 10 percent reduction by Saturday, August 1, 2020.

The National Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Mr Kwame Kuma made this known.

He appealed to all drivers to comply with the new arrangement.

Transport fares were recently adjusted by 15 percent following a justification by transport operators that they were making losses because the COVID-19 protocol restricted them from loading to their full capacity because of the need to observe social distancing in vehicles.

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Apart from fuel cost, the transport operators used social distancing to justify the need for an adjustment in transport fares.

Therefore following an agreement between the government and transport operators in respect of the reduction of passengers in public transport in line with social distancing protocols, fares were increased by 15 percent on July 11, 2020.

The transport operators had proposed an increment of 50 percent with the explanation that they were making losses but the 50 percent was rejected.

On Sunday night, July 26, 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced further easing of COVID-19 restrictions covering congregational worshipping, entertainment sites, transport operations and football activities.

The President explained that life could not be put on hold indefinitely once it was clear that until treatment was found, the COVID-19 would remain a part of the life of the people.

Perhaps the transport sector enjoyed the biggest share of the meat when President Akufo-Addo said, "the government has taken the decision to lift the restrictions in the transport sector and allow for full capacity in our domestic airplanes, taxis, trotros and buses."

Nonetheless, he indicated, the wearing of masks in vehicles and aircraft and the maintenance of enhanced hygiene protocols remained mandatory.

Call for reduction of fares

Following that there were public calls for a reduction in transport fares following the government's decision to relax the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions and allow public transports to load their full capacity.

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) for instance was at the forefront calling on commercial transport operators to reduce their fares immediately as they return to their normal loading capacity.

The Minister of Information, Mr Kwadwo Oppong Nkrumah, on his part said the call was not a "bad call."

If the social distancing has been reduced for transport operators, it was understandable for the public to call for a reduction in transport fares, he argued.

"So it is not a bad call," the Minister said in a radio interview on Asempa FM's Ekosii Sen programme Monday afternoon, July 27, 2020 and monitored by Graphic Online.

The announcement of the reduction by transport fares from August 1, 2020 has since been welcomed by the public on social media.

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