Rapid Transit system takes off this month

The BRT buses.

The BRT buses.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system which aims to provide an efficient public transport for residents in Accra within specific time schedules, will be rolled out by the end of this month.

The BRT concept is a government initiative which seeks to encourage more people to park their private vehicles and join the public transport, by providing a comfortable transport with prompt time schedules.

The Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE), managers of the BRT, is set to begin a pilot operation on the Amasaman-Accra Business District route by the end of the month with 85 buses.

The Chief Executive Officer of GAPTE, Mr. Sampson Gyamera, told the Ghanaian Times in an interview yesterday, that the BRT would later be extended to three other corridors in Accra.

The corridors are Kasoa-Kaneshie-Accra Central Business District, Adenta-37 Military Hospital-National Theatre-Central Business District, and the Ashaiman-Nungua-Teshie-Central Business District.

Mr. Gyamera said that the BRT system would significantly reduce travelling time, operate at regular time schedules, and provide passengers with information on its schedules.

Unlike the traditional commercial bus transport, popularly known as ‘trotro’, he said the BRT would have scheduled arrival and departure on frequent basis, adding that a mobile phone application would be made available for commuters to monitor the various locations of the buses on their phones.

Mr. Gyamera said the buses would be disabled-friendly, and indicated that the various bus stops would be announced on the buses to assist the visually-impaired.

Explaining the rationale behind the BRT, Mr. Gyamera said the number of cars plying the various routes in Accra was increasing, with very little space on the road to accommodate them.

“This has created congestion and made mobility in Accra difficult,” he said, and noted that the solution to the problem was not to increase the space but to provide comfortable buses which would operate within specific time schedules efficiently.

He said the idea was to get more people to park their vehicles and join the BRT in order to reduce congestion on the road and facilitate mobility in the capital.

“If people know that they can catch the busses at certain specific hours and get to their destinations within certain minutes, they will leave their cars behind and join the BRT,” he said.

Mr. Gyamera said the buses had designated areas on some routes, with automatic systems to control traffic lights in certain situations, and would be given preference by traffic wardens to reduce travelling time.

The BRT was established under the Ghana Urban Transport Project established by the government, with support from the World Bank, to help address the challenges in mobility in Accra.

A transport master plan has been developed with a five-year vision to solve the congestion and mobility challenges in the capital.

By Yaw Kyei

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