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17% increase in transport fare is unfair - Cape Coast drivers
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General News of Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Source: GNA

17% increase in transport fare is unfair - Cape Coast drivers

Cape Coast, June 10, GNA - Drivers in the Cape Coast metropolis on Tuesday disagreed with the 17 per cent increase in transport fares announced by the mother Union of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) saying that it was not commensurate with the 30 per cent increase in the prices of fuel products.

According to them the 17 per cent increment which they described as "unfair" was affecting their work as they were now operating at a loss, saying for instance that the price of brake fluid which was previously sold at GH¢3.50 has been increased to GH¢5.50.

Mr Henry Parkie, Branch Chairman of the Cape Coast - Elmina Branch of the GPRTU told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Cape Coast, that the recent increase in the prices of spare parts has compounded the situation.

He further explained that the new transport fares had compelled some passengers to walk to shorter distances, instead of bordering vehicles, drastically reducing their sales.

He said "trotro" from Cape Coast to Elmina which was previously 45 pesewas was now 55 pesewas, while Cape Coast to Elmina (taxi) had also gone up from 60 pesewas to 75 pesewas with taxi fares for town ride pegged at 30 pesewas instead of 25 pesewas.

A driver at Kotokoraba taxi rank, Mr Isaac Saamah, also expressed disappointment with the government's inability to make do with its campaign promise during the National Democratic Congress (NDC's) campaign.

"We drivers will no longer tolerate unfulfilled promises by any politician, we will advise ourselves if government failed to take measures to alleviate our suffering," he added. He said car owners were also 'on the neck of drivers' to increase their daily sales, adding that, there was also keen competition in the taxi business as a result of too many taxis in town. Mr Kwame Kandaha, also a driver, complained of the current economic hardships in the country, saying; "the fuel price increase had worsened the situation."

He expressed worry on the numerous police checks on roads, alleging that the police only extorted money from drivers instead of performing their core duties and called on the Central Region Police Command to intervene.

A trader, Adjoa Mansema, for her part said the fuel price increase was too high and pleaded with government to initiate measures to check the inflation hicks of prices of goods and services anytime fuel prices go up.

Mr Ike Agyapong, a filling station attendant also stressed that the fuel price increase had somehow affected the patronage of fuel and expressed the hope that with time consumers would be used to the situation.

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