The testing of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in some parts of Accra will continue today, Wednesday, September 28, after management suspended the trial on Tuesday September 27, a day after the process began over claims of licensing and insurance discrepancies.
Some commuters who were to enjoy the free ride said they refused to board the buses when the programme started on Monday September 26 because the vehicles were unlicensed. Speculation had mounted on social media that the exercise had been halted to complete registration and insurance of the buses.
Even though the buses were not spotted on their usual routes on Tuesday, September 27, management explained that they were conducting an evaluation exercise and the free bus rides would resume on Wednesday.
Roland Bruce, Marketing and Communications Manager of the Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executives (GAPTE), told Class News’ Ekow Annan the trials would continue as the buses are duly insured.
“All the buses are insured – it is a full insurance package [including] the terminals, the depots, and the buses,” he emphasised on Tuesday September 27.
The service is being introduced by government to ease transportation in the cities. Mr Bruce explained that the exercise had been positive with a lot of feedback, which will be taken into consideration to make the transport service the best.
He explained that there are a few “things” to be implemented after which number plates will be affixed to the buses but “they have been insured”.
He pointed out that the “absence of insurance stickers on the buses will not affect their operations” because “it is on record that they are insured and by Wednesday [September 28] you will see all these stickers on the buses”.
Commuters are being offered free rides on the air-conditioned buses fitted with USB and Wi-Fi services for this week as the service is being tested; however, its patronage on the first day of operations did not live up to expectation.
The buses, popularly called ‘Ayalolo’, which travel on dedicated lanes, were seen with few people on board in some parts of the capital city in the morning.
Commuters who wish to enjoy a free bus ride can catch any of the vehicles from Amasaman through Achimota to Circle and then to Tudu at the central business district of Accra.