Some commuters in Accra have commended drivers and driver unions for adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols, especially the social distancing rule.
Drivers, since March 30, 2020, have had to reduce the number of passenger intake, per seat, in line with the COVID-19 social distancing rule, as prescribed by the Government and the World Health Organization (WHO) to contain the spread of the virus.
Despite the disregard for the social distancing rule by many people in various workplaces, especially the markets and in the general community, both taxi and Trotro drivers continue to ensure the distancing rule on their vehicles, thus attracting praise from some commuters.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), on Monday, some passengers said they were impressed with how the drivers had made the sacrifice to forfeit some income for the common good of citizens, despite the economic hardship the COVID-19 crisis had brought to many citizens.
Ms Asaabea Quaye, a passenger, said the adherence to the directive had brought comfort to many travellers because passengers “didn’t have to breathe into one another’s face” anymore.
“I think they have really made a lot of sacrifices in this COVID-19 period considering the money they have to lose per trip to keep all of us safe,” she said.
Ms Sabina Inkoom, another passenger, applauded the various station masters and driver unions, particularly the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), for ensuring that their members adhered to the protocols.
“The only challenge is that, we the passengers, sometimes struggle at the bus terminals to get on board due to the inadequacy of vehicles to transport us, especially after the close of work,” she said. “As a result, a few of the drivers sometimes ignore the social distancing protocol in order to get the passengers to their destinations on time.
“However, generally, I have been impressed with the adherence to the directive”.
Some drivers at the Tema Station Bus Terminal in Accra told the GNA they remained committed to enforcing the protocols despite the financial impact.
They, however, appealed to the Government to subsidise the prices of fuel at the pump to make up for the loss in reducing the number of passengers.
They also appealed to organisations to donate facilities and logistics at the various terminals and picking points for both drivers and commuters to observe the handwashing and other hygiene etiquettes.
President Akufo-Addo on Friday, March 27, asked drivers, driver unions and station masters to reduce the number of passenger intake effective Monday, March 30, as part of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
In response to this, the GPRTU and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council, in a statement, copied to the Ghana News Agency, directed commercial vehicles to observe a one passenger distance rule in the seating of the passengers.
In compliance, three-rowed seating passenger vehicles, including taxis, now carry not more than two passengers on a row, while those carrying four to five passengers on a row do not exceed three.