People living along the corridor were given free ride as part of the efforts to whip up public patronage. The free service is expected to continue till Friday.
The Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE), managers of the BRT, are beginning the operation with 85 buses on the Amasaman-Tudu stretch.
The BRT is an initiative of the government to encourage more people to park their private vehicles and join the public transport, by providing a comfortable transport with prompt time schedules.
The Chief Executive of GAPTE, Sampson Gyamera, told newsmen yesterday that the BRT service would later be extended to ply Kasoa-Kaneshie-Accra Business District, Adenta-37 Military Hospital-Accra Business District and the Ashaiman-Nungua-Teshie-Accra Business District stretch.
“The system is expected to significantly reduce travelling time, operate at regular time schedules, and provide passengers with information on its schedules,” he said and added that the buses would also be disabled-friendly
According to the Chief Executive, the GAPTE had so far employed and trained 600 “trotro” (commercial transport) drivers belonging to the private transport unions, to operate the buses.
The buses, with a capacity of 40 passengers at a time, have air conditioners and usb pots installed for passengers to charge their mobile phones as well as other gadgets. They will operate for 16 hours daily from 5 am to 10 pm,
The Industrial Relations Officer of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Abbas Ibrahim Moro, said the speculations that the BRT was being introduced to take over the work of ‘trotro’ drivers was completely false.
He, therefore, urged the public to ignore the group opposing the BRT, because all the credible transport unions were behind the concept.
He said the group calling itself the Ghana Commercial Drivers Association, which had launched media attacks against the BRT, was not credible and should be ignored by the public.
Mr. Moro noted that the BRT was created by the government for the transport unions, and indicated that the Amasaman-Tudu stretch of the BRT had been given to the GPRTU.
“We are the owners, with GAPTE as the managers of the system. We provided GAPTE with our drivers to operate the BRT buses. They have undergone further training,” he said.
He said the buses would operate alongside the ‘trotro’ and taxis and stressed that the system was not introduced to push the trotro drivers out of business.
By Yaw Kyei