Deputy Transport Minister, Hon. Daniel Titus-Glover has revealed that funds are being mobilized to purchase fuel for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), popularly known as “Aayalolo”.
Since the beginning of the month, operators of the intra-city transport service, the Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE) have brought to a halt operations of the buses mainly due to financial constraints.
Speaking to UniversNews, Hon. Titus-Glover stated that plans are advanced to secure 90,000 litres of fuel for the buses as well as settle arrears owed the workers.
“…next week, we’re mobilizing funds to secure 90,000 litres of fuel to bring all those buses on the road. There are some arrears that the drivers have not been paid. We need to satisfy them and bring them on board.” Hon. Titus-Glover said
The Member of Parliament of Tema East Constituency also noted that the Transport Committee of Parliament, which he Chairs, is planning to readjust the times at which the buses operate.
According to him, the Committee intends to allow the buses operate during peaks hours of the day, hence it would withhold some of the buses from operating.
“Now we don’t want to roll out all the buses because we want to do peak times…the early morning rush hour and afternoon evening rush hour.”
He added that the Committee was also planing to bring some of the buses to University Campuses to facilitate the transport needs of students
“…in fact we are even trying to bring some of the buses to your campus to convey students to other places” he added
Addressing the challenges facing Aayalolo, Hon. Titus-Glover accused the former government for failing to provide designated lanes to be used by the buses even though financial provision was made for them.
He explained that designated lanes for the buses was a prerequisite for the success of the initiative.
“During the days of the NDC, an amount of $110m was given to them to make sure we have designated lanes where all these buses should ply. They only did some pocket of places [and] now these buses are competing with trotro on the same road. The rapid transport itself must have a rapid flow without any hindrance and this is the difficulty we find our self” he stated.
Hon. Titus-Glover also stressed that the BRT “never had an operating capital to start with.”
“When you are building your volume of traffic in terms of passenger flow, you start from a lower point. As I speak to you now, they are zero and they have no money to run” he maintained.
The BRT service was launched in 2016 to ease the stress associated with public transport system in parts of Accra.
Currently, the buses only ply the Amasaman-Ofankor-Achimota-Accra corridor even though it was planned to expand its operations to other parts of the City by the end of 2017.