Sun, Oct

Good news for commuters, but more work ahead

There is excitement among commuters in the Accra metropolis. Some of the residents are also sceptical of the future because of the country’s inability to manage an efficient public transport system on a sustainable basis.

Indeed, there are still areas in the country where transportation is so scarce and public transport vehicles that ply these roads are irregular.

What that means for people in such areas is that to board such vehicles, one needs to plan ahead and make a booking while the vehicle is on its way out of the area for a space on its next trip to the village.

In the big cities and towns such as Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and other regional capitals, the situation is not as dire as in the rural areas.

But even in the urban centres, there are challenges with transportation for workers who live far distances from their place of work, especially for those who live in newly developing areas.

It is for this reason that when the government announced the intention to introduce the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), to augment public transport and facilitate the transportation of people in a relaxed and timeous manner, a good number of people saw it as welcoming news.

Proponents of the BRT plan, basing their proposition of the system on previous BRT systems, therefore, saw the potential of BRT as a feasible and an affordable form of mass transportation for Accra, 

The plain truth is that Accra is faced with rapid motorisation and increasing automobile use without commensurate development of roadway infrastructure. 

Questions have, therefore, been asked whether the BRT system is capable of making any difference in the transportation quagmire the city of Accra finds itself.

Ideally, for the system to be productive dedicated lanes should have been created for the BRT buses so they can ensure a faster and smoother travel experience but that does not seem to be the case now. Work is still on-going on the road infrastructure for the buses and we urge the government to expedite action on the project.

Going forward, we should develop forward-looking plans for our road network planning and such plans should take into consideration the population growth rate, rural-urban migration, increasing rate of motorisation at the personal levels and other dynamics that play into the overall system of our road networks.

Nonetheless, it is the sincere hope of the Daily Graphic that the BRT system, when fully operational, would help in alleviating some of the challenges that commuters face from the peripheries of Accra to the Central Business District and other adjoining areas.