The model of running Aayalolo buses is not working-Transport Minister

Aayalolo Bus
Aayalolo Bus

The current model of running the Aayalolo Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses in the national capital is not working as projected by the World Bank, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport, has said.

“Over the years, we have tried to streamline its operations but it has not yielded the needed dividend,” the Minister added.

In view of that, he said, his Ministry was working closely with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralisation and other key stakeholders to develop a new model to revive the operations of the transport company.

“We have come to the conclusion that Aayalolo is not working. What happens on the streets of London is not the same in the streets of Accra,” Mr Asiamah lamented.

The Transport Minister said this in Accra at the Minister’s press briefing organised by the Ministry of Information to update the public on the various infrastructure projects and policies being implemented by the Ministry.

The Aayalolo Bus Rapid Transit System was introduced in 2016 to operate in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area to improve public transport for the masses at subsidised rate.

The Aayalolo buses were supposed to have dedicated lines or routes to allow them to move faster through traffic along the routes.

However, Mr Asiamah, in responding to questions from journalists about the operations of Aayalolo buses, admitted that the model for running the buses was not working.

The minister cited the high cost of operations, maintenance (spare parts) and traffic congestion in the national capital, Accra, as some of the setbacks militating against its efficient operation.

Mr Asiamah stated that his Ministry was also working on a legal regime to revert the oversight responsibility of the Aayalolo buses from the Local Government Ministry to the Transport Ministry.

The Aayalolo buses operate from Accra to Amasaman, Adenta to Accra, and Kasoa to Accra.

Commenting on the operations of the Metro Mass Transit(MMT), Mr Asiamah said it inherited over 600 over-aged buses, which made the cost of operations herculean and expensive.

Therefore, he said, a number of over-aged buses had been placed on auction.

Mr Asiamah stated that some 45 buses were delivered to the management of MMT to revamp its operations while 55 additional buses were expected in June 2023.

Touching on some infrastructure projects being implemented by the Ministry, the minister said 12 coastal and fishing landing sites were under construction for safe launching and landing of artisanal fishing canoes.

Some of the beneficiary coastal communities include Mumford, Moree, Dixcove, Axim, Otuam, Osu, Teshie and Keta to promote hygienic environment and provide direct and indirect jobs for people in the fishing communities.

On recent accident on the Volta Lake, he said, it had instituted the necessary regulatory framework but required that the Ghana Maritime Authority and the Navy ensure surveillance and safety on the lake.

He, has, therefore, asked the aforementioned institutions to provide 24-hour patrols on the lake.

On road safety statistics, he said 14,960 crashes, 15,690 injuries and 2,373 fatalities were recorded in 2022.

He thus supported the plan to ban mini buses from going beyond 40-kilometre radius to help minimise carnage on the road.

On infrastructure projects, he said, 30 percent of the first phase of the Boankra Integrated Logistics was completed to bring import and export services closer to the door-steps of shippers in the middle and northern belt of the country.

The Keta Port Development Project was ongoing with six investors shortlisted to present the Request for Proposal.

The multi-purpose container terminal at the Takoradi Port had been completed and commissioned by the President in 2022.

The feasibility study for the construction of an airport in-between the Central and Western regions was being finalised, he said.

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