The combined effects of population growth, urbanization, and motorization are compromising the efficiency and livability of cities. Records available on urban transport indicate that private
cars and taxis take up 70 percent of the road space and convey only 25percent of commuters, while the remaining 30 percent of road space is taken up by buses and “trotro” (minibuses), conveying 75percent of passengers. Clearly a bus can undertake the work of several taxis and private cars.
More and more people are expected to use public transport when it is able to offer efficient, accessible and good value transport. Public transport is the livewire of the city. It is said that streets, roads, railways and walkways are to the city, what arteries and veins are to the human body.
The key challenge in urban transport design is the integration of urban traffic management and land use planning. In urban design, good things do not happen by chance; they are planned for
There is an urgent need for capacity building in urban transport governance to enhance the role and quality of affordable public transport. This complex urban transport agenda also includes the interaction of land use planning, transport systems, the mobilization of the private sector, the regulation of vehicle emissions, and the needs of pedestrians and non-motorized forms of transport. The ultimate purpose is to facilitate strategic and operational coordination with the urban development agenda.
The Institute will support the implementation of the Urban Transport Project to improve mobility in Ghana’s towns and cities through a combination of traffic engineering measures, management improvements, regulatory frameworks for the transport industry, and the development of a Rapid Bus Transit system in Accra.
The urban transport system within Ghana’s cities must be developed to be efficient and productive. Management of the Accra-Tema Motorway, for example, should be tackled with a serious commercial focus reflecting its commercial, economic, geographic and political importance, imposing a form of surrogate market discipline or competition similar to what pertains in other utilities, instead of being treated like a tax-payer funded social service managed by a bureaucracy. A highway management firm, who will not only collect tolls but also improve on infrastructure and land management, control advertising and prevent encroachment on the right-of-way, must be recruited to oversee the motorway.