Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE) Samson Gyamerah on Wednesday, March 22 said the company is working at extending operations onto the Adenta-Accra corridor soon, saying patronage has risen to 7,000 passengers daily, a significant indication of a good out-turn on the new route.
Mr Gyamerah explained that Ayalolo – as the service is termed – started from a modest 40,000 passengers daily in December last year to 80,000 in January this year.
Within two months, the numbers have risen to the current 7,000 passengers.
The figure, he noted, could rise if the company had full access to the lanes and a concomitant reduction of smaller occupancy vehicles competing with the buses on their routes.
He, however, indicated that the company has picked up some useful lessons as they move onto their new route.
Mr Gyamerah was speaking to Alfred Ocansey, Host of Late Edition on 3FM 92.7MHz.
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, dilated on the issue in Parliament on Wednesday, saying “some GH¢1.7 million allocation has been made available to facilitate the implementation of the project on that corridor”.
The amount, she explained, will cater for the provision of signage and other road fittings.
Hajia Alima expressed confidence that the service, when rolled out along that stretch, will ease mobility of persons who live along that part of Accra.
Ayalolo bus service was launched last December as the BRT service, plying the Amasaman-Ofankor-Achimota-Accra corridor.
Mr Gyamerah said the Ofankor-Amasaman route currently operates with 33 buses and is likely to have the same number on the new Adenta-Accra route; after which work will begin on the BRT system for the Kasoa-Accra route.
The Ayalolo bus service has to struggle with the much smaller buses even though the number of daily passengers has peaked.
It is also saddled with the lack of dedicated lanes on their routes.
GhanaTrans, a transport advocacy group, welcomed the new developments, but said, “The only way to ease the traffic congestion in cities like Accra is to move people from Mini Buses (trotro) and private cars into high occupancy buses.
“All over the world, governments build infrastructure, dedicated bus lanes, shelters and ticket booths along designated corridors for mass transit buses.”
In South Africa, the people demanded these services and the government moved to junk mini-buses, compensated their owners and formed transport companies from the transport unions.
“From all indications the Aayalolo mass bus transit system is set for growth and has the potential of setting the stage for the full implementation of a high occupancy mass transportation system, at least in Accra,” GhanaTrans noted.
By Gideon Sackitey|3FM|3news.com|Ghana