With a population of four million people, Accra struggles with the same problems as many other major cities in the world’s developing nations. Some 70 percent of Accra’s road network is overloaded with the number of cars on the road estimated to have grown by a factor of five in the past 15 to 20 years.
Ghana’s Transport Minister, Hon. Dzifa Attivor, says it was the government’s responsibility to ensure a safe, high-quality bus system for Accra.
“Needed the whole package”
Representatives from the Ghanaian Government and the city of Accra studied bus systems in several countries before making a decision. “In Johannesburg in South Africa, we realised that a fleet of quality buses wasn’t enough,” says Attivor. “We needed the whole package, with a ticketing system, driver training, service, and maintenance. And for this type of solution, Scania was the best option.”
In addition to 245 buses, the BRT system in Accra involves long-term financing, an electronic cash-free ticketing system, a big, modern workshop for service and maintenance of all the vehicles, training for 600 bus drivers, and advice and support on starting up and operating the BRT system. The buses are also adapted for those with disabilities.
“Scania has adopted a genuine customer perspective here,” says Fredrik Morsing, Managing Director for Scania West Africa. “We’re no longer just a bus manufacturer that provides vehicles and service. We have turned our perspective around and looked at what the customer really needs.”
Improving life in accra
Improving everyday life
The Mayor of Accra, Hon. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, is very proud of the development project in the capital city.
”A high-quality BRT system allows us to increase safety, allows people to get to work on time and to arrive there conveniently. Modernising the city’s transport system doesn’t mean that the old system with minibuses is being thrown on the scrapheap. It will still play a role, but needs to be modernised and cooperation between operators increased," he says.
Hon. Dzifa Attivor is also keen to highlight the climate and environmental aspects of the capital city’s new bus system. These aspects go hand in hand with government savings.
“This is the first time we have undertaken such a complete system,” Christian Persson, Project Manager for the implementation of the BRT system, says. “I think selling a complete transport solution packaged together with a financial solution is the right way to go in this part of the world. I see major potential in other African countries. Scania West Africa has been a pioneer with this project. This is Scania’s future!”