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APO International

Embrace Reforms, Transformation In Transport Sector – Dr Bawumia To Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU)

todayJuly 5, 2024 7

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Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has called on the leadership and members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and other transport operators to collaborate with government as it works to transform Ghana’s public transport system.

According to Dr Bawumia, ongoing efforts to infuse digitalization into the transport sector such as the streamlining of the processes for Driver’s Licence acquisition, vehicle registration, insurance renewal, the soon-to-be rolled-out Tap n Go ride-hailing system for taxis as well as the introduction of Electric Buses into the public transport sector are all designed to make their operations more cost effective and profitable.

Dr Bawumia, who was speaking at the 11th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the GPRTU on Thursday, 4th July, 2024 at Gomoa Fetteh in the Central Region, therefore urged owners and operators in the transport sector to work hand in hand with Government to ensure the success of these initiatives,

“As transport operators, your role is very crucial to our national development influencing economic growth, social cohesion, and the overall quality of life.

“Government is therefore keen to support development within the transport sector to ensure that your operations deliver immediate benefits and for long-term sustainable development,” he pledged.

Electric Vehicles

Speaking on the theme for the conference: “Transitioning from fossil fuels to electric vehicles for a cleaner environment: The Role of Transport Unions for a Digital Economy”, Vice President Bawumia disclosed that Government is facilitating the purchase of about 100 Electric buses, to be run by the GPRTU, by the end of the year. Construction of hybrid (solar and conventional electricity) Charging Stations for the batteries of these buses and other electric vehicles will start soon, with the aim of moving public transport away from fossil fuels to renewables.

“Two of the major components in transport cost build up is the cost of fuel and spare parts. To address this, we have resolved to move towards the use of Electric Vehicles (EV) in public transport. EVs do not use fuel, and they use very spare parts; the main spare part is the battery, and that can last for years.

“We will work with you (transport operators) to renew your fleets and acquire Electric Vehicles. With the Tap n’ Go digital payment system for public transport that I launched recently, banks will have the assurance that they can track revenues and ensure payment of their loans, so they will be more willing to lend to operators to acquire Electric Vehicles,” he maintained.

“As we seek to give effect to the incentives and make progress with the implementation of the EV Policy, transport operators will take advantage of the incentives to renew their fleet for efficient and comfortable public transport services to the general public,” he noted.

Taxis

With the rapid advancements in technology, the role of transport operators in the modern-day transport sector is more complex and demanding, with an attendant effect on revenues, Dr Bawumia noted. Government has therefore moved to meet the challenge of decreased sales for taxi drivers due to the advent of technology.

“We met with the taxi drivers, and after listening to their concerns about low sales arising from increasing competition from ride-hailing services like Uber, we have designed a ride-hailing service for taxis that will operate like the other ride-hailing services, but this time specifically for taxis. It is ready now, and in we will launch it in a month or so, likely on August 12th”, he disclosed.

Expressing appreciation for the vital role played by transport operators in the country’s development, Dr Bawumia pledged Government’s commitment to providing a conducive, collaborative environment for their business to thrive.

“Transport Operators do not just transport goods, people, and services but they are also a key part of the wellbeing of our society. Therefore as a government, we have an obligation and indeed a collective responsibility to ensure that public transport operators in the digital economy are not compromised.

“As a government, we remain committed to creating an enabling environment and innovative solutions that will ensure that the majority of members of the various transport unions benefit from the dividends of the digital economy. And we shall do so by working closely with you.

“As we look towards the future, it is also vital that we embrace diversity and work towards the formalisation of transport operations in the country. The transport sector should be a beacon of opportunity for all, regardless of what Union you belong to.

“The GPRTU is the largest transport organisation in Ghana and as such offer the largest employment to many unemployed Ghanaians. It is therefore my expectation that GPRTU will be the leaders of change in the sector pulling other smaller unions along the path of reforms.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency, Republic of Ghana.

    

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