Major cities all over the world are faced with challenges of efficient transportation, making it difficult for commuters to move around without let or hindrance.
In advanced societies, the gridlock is resolved by buses or trains that are able to beat the traffic, even during rush hours.
Accra has, for some time now, been battling with traffic jams on all major roads and the bottlenecks do not occur only during rush hours but at all times.
To address this challenge, successive governments have tried the introduction of buses and the revamping of the railway system.
Then came the idea of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, but its implementation has been hampered by the road network that is not broad enough to accommodate big buses and funding challenges.
The Daily Graphic does not think that the infrastructure is fully in place for the BRT, but it is also important that something is done in a radical form to address the snail movement on our roads.
The traffic jams and their effect on movement in the city of Accra have slowed efforts to improve productivity for national development.
It is against this background that the Daily Graphic commends the government for its foresight to roll out the BRT system to ease road transportation in Accra.
We recall many failed attempts by past governments to actualise the BRT system because of the huge cost implications. It is, however, refreshing to witness the incorporation of special BRT lanes in major road networks being undertaken in recent times as part of efforts to begin the implementation of the new system on a more sustainable basis.
It is worthy of note that the government has, in its quest to encourage commuters to use the state buses, instead of their private cars, to work and back, acquired some high occupancy buses fitted with all the necessary facilities meant to give comfort and convenience to those who would use them.
The Daily Graphic, therefore, sees the inauguration of the new buses, christened ‘Aayalolo’, as a step in the right direction, as it is meant to encourage more people to use buses to the urban centres where they work.
We believe that the use of the buses will not change the traffic situation much because it is a new system being tried.
However, it is our conviction that the commitment shown by the government will continue by providing more buses and, in particular, ensuring that the various transport unions warn their members to desist from interfering with the special buses.
Presently, there are few dedicated lanes for these buses but there is every temptation for private commercial vehicles to use them in their quest to beat the heavy traffic.
The Daily Graphic calls on the police to ensure extra discipline on the roads, such that private operators will not be tempted to use the lanes reserved for the buses.
It is instructive that President John Mahama used the occasion of the inauguration of the system to assure private operators that the BRT is not intended to throw them out of business.
The Daily Graphic urges the private operators to welcome the competition in order to provide more efficient services for the travelling public.