An efficient urban bus transportation system that runs on the principle of prepaid payment is soon to be introduced in Accra.
For starters, the dedicated public transport scheduled bus service christened ‘Ayaalolo’, would run Accra-Amasaman- Accra for 16 hours every day, and would be automated to validate boarding and disembarkation of passengers through a smart payment card system.
That smart payment card system, which would enhance operations, verifies passengers boarding the bus, the length of journey made, and charges accordingly on exit from the bus.
The Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE), managers of the service in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, during an exhibition in Accra, expects that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, would radically improve public transportation in Accra.
Mr Samson Gyamera, the Chief Executive Officer of GAPTE, said the service, which would commence next month, October 2016, would revolutionalize the urban road transport sector.
He announced that the high occupancy buses, which are to be operated on dedicated lanes in the Accra metropolis, would enhance timely cost effective, efficient and comfortable travel for commuters.
According to Mr Gyamera, the new transport service system, modeled on the current trotro service, but enhanced with quality vehicles, is aimed at encouraging commuters to leave their vehicles at home and use public transport to reduce vehicular congestions in the city and its attendant loss of man hours.
He said that owing to dedicated facilities and certain engineering improvements on the routes of the BRT, and mechanisms that would reduce travel time.
“The company expects the commuting public to have confidence in this mode of transport,” Mr Gyamera said.
The project, according to the CEO, has three other routes- Mallam- Kaneshie-Tudu Corridor; Adenta/Legon- Tudu Route and Ashaiman-Tema- Teshie-Accra Route.
Mr Gyamera said there is a control room at the Achimota Terminal of the BRT, where the buses are monitored in real time, to ensure that the buses meet the scheduled times.
To make sure that passengers are safe and travel in comfort, the buses are fitted with state of the art safety devices as well as wi-fi and USB mobile phone charging points to enhance their travelling experience.
About 28 buses are to be operational on the Amasaman- Circle- Accra- Route.
The pilot is expected to start with 28 buses, which will eventually be scaled up to a total of 245 buses when all four corridors become active.
He dispelled any conflicts with the MMT and other transport unions explaining that the BRT is collaboration between the MMDAs and the transport unions.
GAPTE, he said, is supposed to be a transport planning, network development and public transport regulator on behalf of the assemblies.
“The Local Government Act actually mandates the assemblies to regulate public transport within their jurisdiction; what this means is that they have the ability to set the rules for public transportation, “the CEO said.