The predicted increase in transport fares has been approved by the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC). The new fares take effect from today, Monday February 1, 2016.
The latest increase of 18 to 30 percent in the prices of petroleum products, was brought about by the passage of the Energy Sector Levy (ESL) by Parliament in December last year. It is for this major reason that drivers has been pressurizing leaders of public transport unions to effect an increase in fares, especially, after they started buying petrol at Ghc15.40p and diesel at Ghc14.50p per gallon. Meanwhile, the price of LPG has also gone up by about 18 percent.
The Acting General Secretary of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC), Andrews Kwesi Kwakye announced the increase on Sunday, January 31 at the PROTOA head office in Accra. While explaining the reasons for the increase, he pointed out that the Unions were moderate in fixing the new fares.
The increment, he said, is as a result of the increase in the prices of petroleum products on January 4, 2016. He said they took into consideration the “cost of spare parts and maintenance, licensing, levies, charges and tolls and the almighty fuel.”
Though the first review for this half year began late, we have concluded our review and the transport operators have decided to raise fares by 15% from February 1, 2016,” Kwakye said at a press conference on Sunday.
The increase is below the rate of inflation. Based on the analysis of the transport operators’ technical team, transport fares should have risen by 18 to 20%. The transport operators have made this decision with sensitivity to the call by our customers and organized labour for moderation in raising of prices of critical services,” he added.
Transport fares were last increased in June 2015 when it went up by 15% as a result of the depreciation of the cedi against the dollar. Commuters have been told by leaders in the commercial transport sector to expect two increases in transport fares every year. In addition, it is also expected that road toll will as well increase later in the year.
This latest development will certainly increase the woes of Ghanaians who are already lamenting the hard times prevalent in the country on all sides.