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General News Sat, 24 Jul 2010

Monorail system being planned for Accra

A monorail system is being planned to help ease traffic congestion in the Accra Metropolis.

Dubbed “Greater Accra Transit System,” the project would operate on elevated beams in order not to disturb pedestrians and traffic.

The transit system would commence in phases and will include retail and commercial facilities, shopping malls, parking facilities, hotel business conferences, and beach resorts.

Dr Ron Watson, Transportation Engineer and Project Manager of Intercontinental Commerce Corporation, (ICC) USA briefing journalists in Accra on Friday said the transit system would operate from Danquah Circle and Kwame Nkrumah Circle, the Castle Drive and Ohene Gyan Sports Stadium.

He said the double straddle beam monorail would use electricity and ICC would supply its own energy systems for the project.

Dr Watson said transit problems in the cities were similar and that the increase of new buses on roads and construction of new roads could solve those issues.

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He said over 40 per cent of the total income of workers was spent on transportation.

Dr Watson said the introduction of monorail systems had been the solution to traffic in Germany, United States, Japan and Egypt.

Throwing more light on the monorail system in Accra, he said the elevated monorail system would be eight miles with 16 stations during the first phase estimated at 1.5 billion dollars.

Dr Watson said the project would be financed 100 per cent from loans and equity contribution by ICC and provide full time jobs for 1,000 people after completion and 15,000 during construction period.

He said a mono rail train could carry the equivalent number of what 20 cars could carry and that would restore the choice to drop out of traffic congestion.

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Dr Watson recalled that monorail system introduced since 1877 had not suffered any pedestrian fatalities pointing and that it was one of the safest and inexpensive modes of transport.

He explained that time between trains would be as low as every three minutes to every nine minutes depending on their need.

Dr Watson said so far construction for phase one of the project would be approximately between four to five years and as soon as ICC was through with the feasibility studies concluded within 12 months, it would start construction.

Mr E.J. Miller, President of ICC, said management had completed monorail systems in Cairo and Mecca for pilgrims.

He said ICC had been in Accra for the past two years and that they were happy to start with the project as soon an agreement was signed between the Ministries of Transport, Local Government and Rural Development and Justice.

Source: GNA