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Commercial drivers unwilling to reduce transport fares after easing of restrictions

Commercial drivers say they will not review transport fares even after president Akufo-Addo lifted restrictions in the transport sector.

They argue that transport fares will remain the same so far as fuel price is not reduced.

“Fuel is not reduced, they should reduce the fuel so that we can also reduce the fares,” a driver told JoyNews’ Maxwell Agbagba.

As part of measures to curtail the spread of Covid-19, President Akufo-Addo in March issued a directive for transport operators to reduce the number of persons carried in vehicles in line with the social distancing protocols.

After several calls by drivers to the government to increase transport fares as a result of the negative economic impact of the pandemic on drivers] to be increased, transport fare prices were increased by 15% effective July 11.

Deputy Transport Minister, Titus Glover said the decision was taken “in acknowledgment of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on drivers.”

However, the president in his 14th adress to the nation has directed that drivers should resume operations at full capacity.

Although the drivers have welcomed the directive, they have reduced to reduce transport fare, insisting that until fuel prices are reduced, transport fares will remain the same.

Meanwhile, the National Vice-Chair of GPRTU Robert Sarbah says drivers on their own cannot decide on whether or not to maintain or reduce the transport charges.

“I’m not aware that drivers have said so. However, drivers take directives from their leadership so they cannot be a law unto themselves.

“We are going to meet with the Ministry of Transport so whatever will come out from the meeting will be the decision of the union.

“It is not the preserve of the GPRTU to issue it to come up with transport fares we do so in collaboration with other transport organizations so we’re going to meet at the Ministry of Transport to see the way forward,” he said.

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