Transport operators at the Neoplan Station in Accra, say they have acquired enough fleet of vehicles to contain the stress associated with travelling during Christmas as well as ensure the safety of the traveling public.
They have no immediate plans to increase transport fares during the season.
“We have no plans to increase fares; we are particularly concerned with the safety of passengers,” Mr. John Tetteh, First Trustee, Neoplan Drivers Association, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of TUC told the Ghana News Agency on Thursday.
Mr. Kweku Assem, Secretary, Accra-Odaw Express Branch, said though car spare parts had increased there were no immediate plans in lorry fares to cover the cost.
He appealed to government to consider reducing duties imposed on car spare parts so that the cost could also come down to an appreciable level.
Mr. Tetteh said members of the association had purchased many new buses to ease travelling pressure on commuters.
The association in collaboration with the Ghana Road Safety Commission had also organized series of fora to sensitize drivers on safe driving to ensure passengers safety, they added.
Mr. Isaac Akudago, Secretary, Price Line Transport Limited and Mr. Assem said their outfit had been conducting education for passengers to ease pressure on drivers.
Passengers have also been asked to report any misconduct of drivers resulting from inducements like alcohol and smoking.
Mr. Tetteh noted that drinking and smoking had high propensity to cause accident and thus urged the travelling public to avoid boarding roadside vehicles (non-unionized) to avoid “criminals” imposing illegal charges on them.
He appealed to other transport operators and road users to be responsible on the roads to prevent accidents.
According to Mr. Tetteh of Neoplan Drivers Union, 50 buses consisting 2,500 passengers were moved outside Accra within the week.
Mr. Akudago of Price Line Transport Limited said, the number of buses designated for Tamale, Bolga, Navrongo and Bawku had been increased from one to three, adding “the number is expected to increase again by Sunday”.
Mr. Assem of Accra-Odaw Express Branch told GNA the number of passengers was expected to rise but quick to add that his outfit had put in place contingency measures to arrest the situation. “We have told our partners in Kumasi and other places to always make empty cars available where it is lacking”.
Mr. Kwabena Akyim, a driver, told the GNA that since people travelled to vote during the elections, there was the probability the number of travelers for the Christmas season would reduce.
At about 0900 hours when the GNA got to the Neoplan Station, there were no queues of passengers. Passengers were trickling in one after the other to board vehicles, while drivers and mates were seen calling out for passengers to load their vehicles.
At the Accra business centre, traffic jam was at its peak; vehicles in chain tooting horns for others to give way and passengers tired of sitting in vehicles for long hours getting down to make the rest of their journey on foot.