The Ghana Private Transport Union is pleading on the government to reduce the prices of fuel for them to also limit the number of passengers they allow on commercial buses so they can adhere to the directive by the President to observe social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19.
President Akufo Addo in his engagement with the Ghana Private Transport Union and other transport unions in the country implored on them to allow passengers to observe social distancing and also modify the existing ‘shoulder to shoulder’ policy of loading.
This means buses that ordinarily carried three people will now be mandated to carry just two per row while those who hitherto, took four per row will do three.
As a condition to the strict compliance of this directive from the President, the drivers union believes incentives and some support system should be given to commercial drivers to enable them to apply the new policy until calm returns.
“We are worried about the coronavirus and the way we load our vehicles – shoulder-by-shoulder – and we’ve come out with a suggestion that the government should see what it can do [to help us],” the Industrial Relations officer of the Greater Accra branch of the GPRTU, Abass Ibrahim said.
According to him, the number of passengers per vehicle can be greatly altered if the government is willing to subside their fuel products to enable them to make some returns.
“When we load from Accra to Abeka and from Abeka to Accra, the fuel that we are going to lose from Accra to Abeka will cater for the in and out fuel and from Abeka back to Accra will be the working capital we have gained from what we are doing, so if we say the people or drivers should reduce without any tangible arrangement, without any compensation to cater for the days work then the person will work and won’t even get the fuel that he has used for the day,” he explained.