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Regional News Wed, 16 Jul 2014

Assemblies urged to ensure efficient transport services

Mr Julius Debrah, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has urged the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) Chief Executives to go beyond their mandates to ensure efficient and quality transport services in the country.

He said the Local Government Act 1961 mandates the District Assemblies to formulate and implement policies on transport services within the framework of national policies to enhance urban mobility of people.

Mr Debrah said this on Monday when he inaugurated a 13-member board of the Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE) made up of all the District Chief Executives in the Greater Accra Region in preparation towards the start of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system this year.

He said a number of efforts had been made by successive governments to ensure effective transport system and that: “one of such measures was the introduction of the Metro Mass Transit buses on our roads.”

“However, these efforts have not really done a lot to improve mass transit in our cities hence the only means of public transportation in our country are the ‘tro-tro’ and taxi cabs,” he said. Mr Debrah said these means of transport in cities had not only created congestion and heavy traffic build-up but also led to the loss of productive time and increase in fuel consumption.

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Therefore, he went on, there was the need to introduce a more rapid, efficient and reliable form of transportation in Accra. Mr Debrah expressed gratitude to the World Bank and the French Development Agency (FDA) for their continuous support to the country.

Mr Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, appealed to the GAPTE board to develop a public transport network across Greater Accra including Kasoa to Accra, Tema through the beach road, Adenta and Amasaman to the Central Business Centres.

“It must be emphasized that, for GAPTE to be functional, it requires the assistance of the Urban Passenger Transport Unit to enforce public transport activities within the assemblies,” he said.

He urged the Ministry of Local Government to expedite the setting up of transport units in the assemblies to ensure its sustainability. Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuiji, the Chairman of the Board of GAPTE, appealed to the transport operators to cooperate to ensure success of the new system.

Source: GNA
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