By Cecil Mensah
Even though some floating transport operators in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) have initiated a legal action against the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the Steering Committee on Urban Transportation (SCUTA) says it is unwavering in its quest to the implement the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) by July I, next year.
Operators have been told to form their own association and if they are not inclined to join the already existing transport operating associations in the region by January next year risk being barred from operating floating transport services in the region.
As part of the BRT, there will be a network of routes operated on four primary corridors like Kasoa-Central Business Districts (CBD), Adenta -CBD, Amassaman-CBD and Tema –Accra through the beach road.
Outlining some of the measures put in place to herald the implementation of the BRT, the Steering Committee on Urban Transportation (SCUTA) which is a joint enforcement committee of the thirteen Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the region said at the
beginning of this month kick started the enforcement of the Urban Transport Services Bye-laws.
Speaking at a press conference to outline the modalities for the implementation of the project, the Chairman of SCUTA, Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije
also the Mayor of Accra said the Legislative Instrument which was passed by Parliament requires that all providers of urban public transport services, including Trotros and taxis have the requisite valid permits issued by the thirteen Assemblies.
“This specific provision of the urban passenger transport services bye-laws is to ensure that those who choose to provide passenger services to the general public are known to the authorities and can be held accountable to set standards prescribed by the Assemblies in the interest of public” he said
He said prior to the enforcement campaign embarked on at beginning of this month, all the thirteen Assemblies within the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area have agreed to operate by the rule.
He said the main thrust of the educational campaign was for “all commercial transport operators must operate under a permit issued by the relevant Assembly.
Registration of transport operators shall only be through a recognized road transport organization or entity.
Permit documents include route operating permit, valid vehicle sticker and valid commercial driver permit issued by the relevant Assembly.
All transport operations must be organized from locations approved by the Assembly”
He said the committee has organized the various operators into identifiable groups represented by two main umbrella organizations namely Ghana Private Road Transport UNION(GPRTU) and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council which represents PROTOA and Cooperative as well as other
independent transport organizations.
He explained that MMDAs have the right to determine who it permits to operate urban passenger transport services within their jurisdiction in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993(Act 462) which allows the Assemblies to make bye-laws and regulations to help govern and regulate transport services within their jurisdiction.
He was quick to add that the MMDAs are not compelling any individual to belong to any group of association.
“Government makes a lot of investment into the public transport infrastructure and as such own these facilities and the Government can determine the rules for the usage of its infrastructure for the benefit of all” he added
He noted that a total of four hundred and twenty-six Trotro and taxis, thirty-three new taxi groups have been formed, registered and issued with permits in all the thirteen MMDAs namely Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Tema Metropolitan Assembly(TMA), Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA), Adenta Municipal Assembly (AdMA), Ga East Muincipal Assembly(GEMA) and Ga West Municipal Assembly (GWMA).
The rest are Ga South Municipal Assembly (GSMA), Ga Central Municipal Assembly (GCMA), ledzokuku Krowor Municipal Assembly (LEKMA), la Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA), la Nkwantang Madina Municipal Assembly (LANMMA), Awutu Senya East Municipal Assembly (ASEMA) and Kpone Katamanso District Assembly (KKDA) have been engaged in educational campaign to sensitize all transport operators and the general public about the transport regulations and regulations procedures.