Over the years, transportation has become a necessity to every individual, household and institution. It enables us get to our places of convenience such as home and work, faster and easier. It has also contributed immensely in the distribution of goods and services.
Thanks to modern technology, we no longer have to travel long distances on foot. Lately, there are so many transport options to choose from. Due to technological advancement, an individual can decide to either travel by air, land or water.

It is every individual’s dream to have a private means of transport. But unfortunately, not everyone’s wish can be granted. Some people are fortunate to have their own means of transport, while others have to resort to the use of public transports. 
Though having a private means of transport is more convenient, there is no doubt that public transports have their own advantages.

One paramount advantage is that, they are more affordable. Most people can afford them since they are relatively cheaper, compared to purchasing a vehicle of their own.
It also saves money because individuals would not spend a lot on maintenance and fuel. Public transports such as buses, are able to convey many people at a time. 

Imagine if everyone in Ghana had a car, motorbike or bicycle! It would have definitely caused so much traffic even worse than what we experience currently in Accra. 
It would have also rendered a lot of people jobless, because no commercial driver or “mate” would have been needed.
Though public transports have so many advantages, their disadvantages cannot be neglected. 

One alarming issue in relation to public transport is safety. Unlike foreign countries where buses and trains are the commonest and popular means of transport with qualified drivers, in Ghana and especially Accra, has the “trotro” as the commonest means of public transport. And this is because most people feel taxis are relatively expensive. 
Due to the increase in our population, these means of transports also increase hence, the emergence of so many drivers. I keep wondering if all these drivers are qualified drivers or even have driver license.

From my observation, almost anyone can be a trotro driver so far as he is able to drive. Sometimes, the “mates” to these “troskis” are allowed to sit behind the wheel when in actual fact, they are not qualified drivers.
Due to this, some of them drive recklessly and have no respect for road regulations, putting our safety at risk. I once encountered a “trotro” driver who insulted all passengers in the car only because we complained about his recklessness. 

There was another instance where I encountered a “mate” who was drunk as early as 6:00 am and was acting absurd. It kept me wondering if the driver was equally drunk. Instances of these sorts make passengers feel insecure since their lives may be at risk. These drivers and “ mates” also tend to speak harshly to passengers anytime they try to draw their attention to their indiscipline acts. 

Some of these “troskis” are in very bad shape because owners and drivers pay less attention to maintenance. 
There are instances where the roofs of these cars leak anytime there is a heavy down pour. Some of them even have broken doors which do not close properly meanwhile, some passenger seats are positioned next to the door and hence, makes it life threatening. Some of these “troskis” are old to the extent that, the car breaks begin to malfunction, and instead of repairing and paying attention to these malfunctions , some keep driving them in those bad conditions. I wonder if the road safety commission or authorities ever take notice of these rickety cars on our roads. And most of these cars are usually the ones we refer to as “station” cars.

Since “trotro” is the most popular transport in Accra and Kumasi especially, much attention should be given to them because so many lives are at risk each and every day. Rickety transports should also be taken off the street. 

Measures should be put in place to make sure that all “trotro” drivers are qualified for the job. 
Authorities should also keep an eye on “Okada” riders because most of them are reckless and also contribute to road accidents.

Moreover, the Ministry of Transport should make the trains and Aayalolo  buses more popular and accessible. So that people would not have to depend so much on “trotro” for their daily movements.
Road safety regulations should be tight and all offenders, severely punished according to the law.


Written by : Nasreen Zankawah

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