General News Wed, 25 Jul 2018

BRT infrastructure was rushed – Transport Minister

Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has described the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Accra as a hasty decision.

According to Kwaku Ofori Asiamah aside major cities being characterized by heavy congestion, particularly, during peak hours, the canker is aggravated “by inadequate policy frameworks as well as poor coordination between stakeholder agencies.”

Mr. Asiamah had earlier stated that more Aayalolo buses will soon be deployed but that will happen after the construction of a terminal at the PWD yard in the central business district of Accra.

“In my estimation, we should have taken our time in building the infrastructure than to bring in the vehicles. Now it is in. What do we do? We must go around it and try and see what we can do to resolve the issue. So we are working on it,” he said.

He made the above assertion at the Ghana Urban Mobility Forum aimed at improving accessibility and mobility policies for the urban areas in the country.

The two-day forum was themed, “Rapid Urbanization and the Response to Urban Mobility.”

According to the Minister, improving urban mobility and accessibility are some of the most “urgent” and “critical” measures that can guarantee sustainable and inclusive urban development.

He believes these steps would bring major economic, social and environmental benefits.

The Quality Bus system (QBS), which is making use of the Aayalolo buses, was initially envisioned as part of a Bus Rapid Transport system, but the absence or lack of dedicated lanes meant, it did not match up to that standard.

The Minister disclosed that his Ministry is working towards eliminating the ‘misbehaviour’ exhibited by some commercial drivers who contribute to the uncomfortable and irritating congestions.

He said, “We are building the PWDs bus terminal. We have finished the Adenta, Amasaman, and Achimota. So how then do we get these things fully operate. Even the Achimota one, we built it in such a way that the trotro will not pack by the road side. But when they load they will go and off load the people then BRT will bring them in. It is not working.”

“The Achimota trotro station is even messier than what it used to be but we are putting in all efforts to eradicate the hazards,” he noted.

Most major roads to Accra have gained notoriety for having the city’s worst traffic jams.

Some of these roads include the Madina to 37 road, Circle to Achimota road, Ofankor to Pokuase road, and the Tema motorway – Tetteh Quarshie roundabout.

Efforts by previous governments to address the problem seem not to have yielded results as the traffic situation has not improved.

Some analysts have suggested a total review of the country’s transportation system with a shift from the construction of new roads to the implementation of policies that will encourage boarding of commercial buses and an efficient railway system.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com