The Ghana Public Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has called on commuters to report drivers who fail to comply with the new directive on fare reductions.
According to the union, drivers across the various regions in the country have been made privy to the directive and are required to go by them. It indicated that passengers in such vehicles have the right to report deviant drivers to the stations they load their buses.
Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Public Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Samuel Amoah, revealed that the leadership at the meeting with the transport ministry represented the drivers and as a matter of urgency, these drivers must not flout the latest rules on fares.
Mr Amoah explained that the union had an agreement with the transport ministry on the 15.3% reduction. He explained that following the meeting, the union “signed a communique and then we also as GPRTU, arranged the fare as to how the reduction should go then we issued a circular and we distributed it to all our various unions down to the branches and the locals”.
“We also asked them to start this deduction from yesterday 19th December. So, that was exactly what we did; but then yesterday, we had some little challenges and some calls from the [public] that some of the drivers were not complying. So, straightaway, we also [made provisions] to make sure they were complying. But there are some calls that we also received, and we find out that most of the challenges were also coming from the floating drivers.”Samuel Amoah
On the level of compliance, the GPRTU PRO noted that the union is doing all it can to ensure drivers go by the directive. He opined that the same medium through which fare increments are channeled is being used to communicate the reduction. As such, drivers cannot feign ignorance on the matter.
“My branch as an example, we are complying and reducing, even the calculation was not up to GHC1 but we round it up to GHC1. There are so many stations that I can testify to that… So, with the sort of complaints coming, what we have to do is do some follow-up to make sure where the complaint is coming from those stations will also do the right thing. But at the moment, we have not received officially, a complaint coming from a specific location that are not complying.”Samuel Amoah
Complaints by drivers on spare part cost
Commenting on some drivers refusal to reduce transport fares on grounds of high cost of spare parts and lubricants, Mr Amoah stated that these drivers do not have a legitimate concern.
According to him, all these elements were factored into the reduction percentage of fares and they cannot make losses with their daily business venture. He elaborated that the initial offer from the transport ministry was 18%, however, the leadership of the union had to re-negotiate with the ministry to 15.3% factoring in elements such as spare parts so drivers do not run into losses.
“I think that is the main reason why we arrived at the 15.3% because we made the minister understand that most of the components, that is the spare parts, they are not reducing it, the lubricants, likewise taxes and even from January 1st, insurance is going to increase by 30%, we spoke about that. Initially, the minister was asking us to reduce it by 18%, we spoke and the end of the day we arrived at 15.3%.
So, this is what we have agreed on, so we are not expecting the drivers to still complain about this spare parts issue and maybe because of where the spare part is they’re not going to comply by the 15.3% reduction. For that one we won’t accept that because we have agreed, and we made that calculation before we arrived at the 15.3%”Samuel Amoah