For almost every other month in 2022, there have been conversations in the media space about the Ghana Road Transport Union (GPRTU) or some Transport Unions’ decision to increase transport fares.
These decisions in one way or another affect commuters who will have to bear the consequence of having to pay more than they used to.
GPRTU explains that the current increments in transport fares are attributed to the recent increment in fuel prices and spare parts. Currently, a litre of diesel and petrol stands at GH 23. 49 and GHc 17.99 respectively.
In this report, Fact-Check Ghana presents data on how transport fares have increased in the last five years.
Since the beginning of 2022, GPRTU and some Transport Unions have proposed 7 increments in transport fares. This has resulted in three approved increments in transport fares.
Earlier in February, transport fares shot up by 15% when the fuel prices averaged GHS 6.4 per litre. This was followed closely by a 20% increment in early May. Another increment of 19% took effect on October 29, 2022. Thus, officially there has been a 54% approved increment. However, shortly after the officially approved 19% increment was effected, Fact-Check Ghana observed that a group calling itself the Concerned Drivers Union is charging an additional 20% increment. Therefore, while there has been an official 54% increment since the beginning of 2022, users of public transport are actually paying more than that, with new prices emerging almost every day.
The year 2021 was no different from 2022. The year came with three proposals in February, May and November but only saw a 13% increment in June.
The GPRTU said in a statement that the increment was “to accommodate the predominant increase in the piece of fuel”. The new fares took effect from Saturday 5th June 2021. The fares covered Intercity (trotro), Intercity (long distance), and shared taxis transport operations.
Before the year 2021 ended, the Coalition of Private Transport Union went on a sit-down strike in Accra to compel the government to reduce fuel prices. Some commuters in Accra in the early hours of December 6 had to move from their homes to workplaces on foot.
In 2020, there was an overall increment of transport fares by 10%. This followed an increment of 15% and a later reduction of 5%.
The 15% increment in fares commenced on Saturday, 11 July, 2020. The COVID-19 outbreak necessitated the observance of social distancing in commercial vehicles. This meant transport operators had to reduce the intake of passengers. The GPRTU said it was making huge losses over the directive and hence demanded the increment.
However, a few days after the increment, the Ministry of Transport and GPRTU after deliberations reduced transport fares from 15% to 10%. That change took effect on August 01, 2020. It was the first time over a long period of time that transport fares had decreased.
In 2019, transport fares went up only once. Users of public transport saw a 10 percent increase in transport fares in September 2019 after approval from the Ministry of Transport. The GPRTU explained that the increment was a result of the increase in fuel prices.
The increase in prices which was to cover intra-city transportation and inter-city or long-distance travel took effect on Monday, 16th September 2019.
In June 2018, GPRTU announced a 10% increment in transport fares. The increase took effect on June 4 2018. According to the union, the increase was mainly necessary due to the rising costs of fuel and other costs.
Below is a table presentation of the changes in transport fares in the last five years
This fact-check piece was put together by Victoria Enyonam Adonu and Linda Essilfie-Nyame, both Fellows of the 2022 NGIJ under the MFWA.