?The Steering Committee on Urban Transportation (SCUTA) in Accra has introduced a standard vehicle sticker for commercial vehicles in Greater Accra. The introduction of the new standard stickers will help harmonize transport related fees across participating assemblies that form SCUTA.
This was made known by the Chairman of SCUTA, Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije at a press conference organized to announce progress SCUTA made with the implementation of the BRT system in Accra.
Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, who is also the Mayor of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly indicated that, although SCUTA has registered some tremendous achievements with the harmonization and enforcement of the exercise, it had made critical observations that had to do with multiplicity of vehicle stickers by various Assemblies.
He also noted that there has been movement of floating drivers throughout the various Assembly areas and the prevalence of vehicle stickers being obtained from unauthorized persons.
The SCUTA Chairman averred that the issued confronted with generally shown the level of non-uniformity of regulatory conditions and the general laxity in the system hence the steps undertaken to have unique stickers.
?I am happy to inform you that after careful deliberations and consultations the MMDAs in Accra under the auspices of SCUTA have adopted unique color codes for the vehicle sticker system,? he revealed.
Dr. Vanderpuije also mentioned that stickers with BLUE colour shall be issued for all categories of Trotro and the RED colour stickers shall be issued for Taxis.
The issuance of the new colour-coded stickers, he revealed, will commence this month in all Assemblies.
?The new vehicle stickers will be issued for vehicle operators upon completion of permit renewal formalities,? Dr. Vanderpuije noted, calling on registered transport operator entities to acquire their 2014 operating permits from the various Assemblies where they are registered.
Commercial drivers have also been given compliance period till 31st March 2014 to regularize their operations with the Assemblies and acquire the appropriate stickers.
Touching on some of the progress made with the BRT system, Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije noted that the project which was introduced at the last quarter of 2013, was to be implemented to address the numerous challenges commuters face as regards traveling within the Accra and its surrounding communities.
Chairman of SCUTA Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije indicated that SCUTA which is made up of 13 member-MMDAs undertook vigorous enforcement of the programme where 40 new taxi and trotro groups have been registered bringing the number to a total of 1,365 drivers.
He also revealed 21 unapproved stations have been closed down, whilst 19 unregistered stations had their operations regularized with permits duly granted for their operations.
?Eleven of these 21 unapproved stations have been relocated,? he added.
Dr. Alfred Vanderpuije also indicated that the government has identified reforms in the urban transport sector through the implementation of the Urban Transport Project to ease challenges faced by commuters in Accra and its surrounding communities.
Key component of this reform, he noted, is the implementation of an improved bus services on the four main transport corridors in Accra. ?These are Amansaman to Tudu in the Central Business District, Accra, Adenta to the Central Business District, Accra, Kasoa to the Central Business District, Accra, and Tema to the Central Business District, Accra, through the Beach Road (Nungua, Teshie and La),? he noted.
Out of the four, the bus services on Amansaman to the Central Business District Corridor have been scheduled to commence from July 1st this year, 2014.
The SCUTA Chairman also averred that the infrastructure improvements alone will not yield the necessary benefits needed, hence the intended reforms will holistically address the institutional, regulatory and industrial challenges experienced.
He also used the opportunity to deny widespread allegations that taxis who will register under the new regulation with a particular Assembly cannot be allowed to plight other Assembly jurisdictions.
He explained that, ?on no occasion has SCUTA say that nobody is allowed to enter the city of Accra. That has never been said anywhere. What we have said is that to operate within the 13 jurisdictions, we are working together for effective implementation,?
He stressed the point that an Act of Parliament, LI 250 makes it clear that one has to belong to a recognize entity in order to operate a commercial vehicle. ?????and that is what they are implementing,? he stressed.