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Reduce transport fares now – COPEC to trotros, taxis

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) has called on commercial drivers to immediately reduce transport fares due to the President’s decision to lift the restriction placed on commercial vehicles in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Akufo-Addo announced on Sunday that commercial buses and taxis are to load at full capacity.

In his 14th Covid-19 update to the nation, the President, however, noted that safety protocol must still be observed by passengers.

“In consultation with the Ministries of Transport and Aviation and the leadership of transport operators, Government has taken the decision to lift the restrictions in the transport sector, and allow for full capacity in our domestic airplanes, taxis, trotros and buses.”

In a statement, COPEC explained that the President’s directive means revenue which was being lost by the commercial drivers will be restored hence the need to reduce transport fares.

“What this directive means is that every revenue that until date has been losing per trip by the commercial transport operators before the announcement during the period and for which commuters have recently been forced to cough up additional 15-30% transport fare increases is now restored in favour of our commercial transport operators and thus the recent increases of between 15-30% must and should be reversed forthwith.”

COPEC added “We are, by this statement calling on some of our major stakeholders in the transport sector including the GPRTU, Concerned Drivers Association, Committed Drivers Association and the Ghana Road Transport Cordinating Council to immediately without fail, ensure that transport fares are reversed by close of day tommorow, not only to previous rates but a further 5% reduction possibly on the previous rates before these recent increases since fuel price variance as at this point remains positive by at least a further 12% from the pre covid-19 lockdown period.”

Below is the full statement by COPEC

REDUCE TRANSPORT FARES IMMEDIATELY.

The President of the Republic in his 14th Covid-19 address to the nation on Sunday has among other things issued new directives for the commercial transport operators to forthwith pick the normal number of passengers as before the lockdown and the accompanying social distancing restrictions.

What this directive means is that every revenue that until date has been losing per trip by the commercial transport operators before the announcement during the period and for which commuters have recently been forced to cough up additional 15-30% transport fare increases is now restored in favour of our commercial transport operators and thus the recent increases of between 15-30% must and should be reversed forthwith.

The Chamber takes cognisance of the fact that the period prior to the covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions had fuel prices trading at ghc5.650/litre but due to a global fall in demand and its attendant effects on pricing, fuel prices dropped by over 30% to below Ghc3.890/litre and has in recent times gone up marginally by a cumulative average of 16% to currently average 4.80/litre at the pumps.

The above thus renders any possible argument on the part of transport operators for stay of current transport fares at this point, citing the marginal fuel price increases as an excuse ostensibly to deny Ghanaian commuters the deserved reductions in transport fares moot since the fuel price variance before and after the lockdown period remains a distant 10%+ positive to the commercial transport operators at this point.

We are, by this statement calling on some of our major stakeholders in the transport sector including the GPRTU, Concerned Drivers Association, Committed Drivers Association and the Ghana Road Transport Cordinating Council to immediately without fail, ensure that transport fares are reversed by close of day tommorow, not only to previous rates but a further 5% reduction possibly on the previous rates before these recent increases since fuel price variance as at this point remains positive by at least a further 12% from the pre covid-19 lockdown period.

Signed.

Duncan Amoah
Executive Secretary.

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