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General News of Friday, 3 January 2003

Source: JN

Transport Fares To Go Up

Public transport fares are expected to go up, as the Ghana Roads and Transport Council (GPRTU) is set to announce an increase late next week. The council will explain that the proposed fare increases will make it possible for public transport operators to meet their operational costs.

Many drivers and their unions have unilaterally increased their fares in different parts of the country, even though the main drivers? union, the GPRTU has stressed its disapproval of the increases.

The Chairman of the National Road and Transport Council, Kodwo Moses told Joy News last month, that the current fares being charged are not realistic and that an increase was inevitable, but fell short of saying whether fares will go up.

However Joy News can confirm an impending increase in transport fares. Sources close to the GPRTU and the Ghana Roads and Transport Council told Joy News that discussions are on-going to increase fares. A meeting of interest groups has been scheduled for next Tuesday at which discussions on the level of increase is to be finalized.

Attempts by drivers, car owners and other interest groups to get the transport fares increased was met with disapproval from the government. However indications are clear that an increase can no longer be postponed.

Apart from the new fares to be announced next week, new fares will be fixed if, or when, government announces an increase in petroleum prices. The various interest groups believe that any further delay for the petroleum price increases before new fares are fixed, will make the burden too sudden and too much for commuters.