The government has approved a proposal from transport operators to increase transport fares by 15 percent.
The increment is expected to take effect from Saturday, July 11, 2020.
A deputy Transport Minister, Nii Kwartei Titus Glover told Citi News that the decision was taken after a meeting with transport operators on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.
He said the transport operators made an alternative proposal which was for the government to allow them to revert to carrying their usual full seating capacity or for the fares should be adjusted upwards.
Titus Glover said after considering both proposals, the government decided to approve the increment in transport fares.
“The transport unions made an application to the Ministry that because of the COVID-19 and government has asked them not to load full capacity, they are losing a lot of money because of the running cost of their operations…They came with two applications that the government should allow them to run full seating capacity or we should allow them to increase the transport fares.”
“This afternoon, we held a meeting and we’ve all agreed that with effect from Saturday 11th of this month [July], we have increased transport fares by 15% and in going forward, they should continue to hold the safety COVID-19 protocols,” he added.
The Deputy Minister said the unions have been tasked to also print and post the new fares in their vehicles and at their respective stations to inform passengers and avoid altercations.
Transport unions agitate
The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) earlier in July said it was making huge losses over the directive to take on board fewer passengers to be able to maintain social distancing on their buses.
In a Citi News interview, GPRTU Vice Chairman, Robert Sarbah said they were seeking either an increase in transport fares or a return to the normal seating capacity of vehicles pre-COVID-19.
The last increase in public transport fares was in September 2019 with a 10 percent increment.
Commercial drivers were in March 2020 directed to reduce the number of passengers they take to ensure social distancing and help reduce the spread of Coronavirus in Ghana.
A group calling itself the Concerned Drivers Union had also threatened to increase its transport fares by 30 percent, following the increases in fuel prices.