Project Case Study
Developing an urban transport policy for Ghana
Conducting a study of the urban transport market in Accra and developing a policy framework to improve
Accra, in Ghana, is one of Africa’s busiest metropolises, with a population of 2.3 million in 2012. The extensive road network forms the backbone of the city’s transportation system. However, the number of vehicles and the haphazard nature of the road network meant that there were a high number of accidents and severe congestion, making it difficult to get about.
The transport system was also highly pollutant. Many people rely on public transport in the city, including the cheap and often dangerous tro-tro vans, but these were in urgent need of modernisation and were very unreliable.
In 2007, we were asked by the World Bank to conduct a review of the transport market, current demand and government regulation in Accra, with a view to implementing a Bus Rapid-Transport System. We examined pricing and access issues to consider how to improve affordability for everyone, with a particular focus on creating a system that would benefit the poor and women.
Based on this information, we developed an urban bus transport policy framework for the government. We reviewed the existing framework, collecting and analysing data to highlight the issues surrounding supply and demand, and provided a strategy by which urban transport needs could be met by the private sector. Furthermore, we determined the potential for using route franchising to promote better provision of bus services, in order to standardise the services, reduce congestion and reduce accidents.
Our work helped to develop a much more effective transport network in Ghana, and while there are inevitably still congestion problems, the bus service has become a much better way to travel in Ghana, and is importantly more accessible for poorer people, enabling them to travel further for work. Similarly, the transport network has made improvements in environmental sustainability, which is one of the Ghanaian government’s top priorities.