Odumasi drivers charge unapproved fares

Some passengers at Odumasi, capital of Sunyani West District, have protested against unilateral fares charged by drivers who ply the 18-kilometre Odumasi/Tainso route.

They said the drivers charged fares above the approved 18 per cent increase announced by the road transport union in the district.

“I was forced to walk the nine kilometers to school just because I questioned why the drivers were charging above the approved fare”, Mr. Eduo Mensah, a teacher at Tainso, said.

He said the approved trotro fare for the distance was GH¢1.00 but the drivers charged GH¢1.50, while the taxi fare had been increased from the approved fare of GH¢1.20 to GH¢1.50.

Most vehicles plying the road are meant for carrying farm produce but are being used to carry people instead.

A mini bus, which is supposed to take seven passengers, takes 15 whilst taxis carry eight instead of five.

A driver of a pickup vehicle, Mr George Ahenkrang, told the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani on Monday they had arbitrarily increased the approved fares because of the bad nature of the road.

“The road is very bad and no driver is willing to ply on it”, he said.

Mr Ahenkrang added that because it was a farming community the drivers found it difficult to get passengers for their return journey.

“We are supposed to take 25 minutes to make the journey, but the bad nature of the road makes us take 1 hour 25 minutes”, he added.

Mr. Opoku Nyamekye, vice chairman of Odumasi branch of Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), said the union was aware of the fare increases by some drivers and the union had asked them to abide by the approved fares.

He urged passengers to report any driver who charged above the GH¢1.40 fare to the union and culprits would be sanctioned.

Mr. Isifu Hussein, station supervisor, said the drivers had complained about the bad nature of the road and this had been channeled to the District Assembly.

Source: GNA

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