Wednesday, December 8, 2010

TroTro Riding...

A Trotro is what Ghanaians call a mini-bus or Mercedes Benz bus and is used as a the primary mode of transportation in the city of Accra and surrounding towns.  I used to call them "death traps", that is until I started using them.  I figured that if I was going to use them that I should not condemn myself to death by calling the thing a death trap.  The reality on the ground is that they are often involved in most traffic accidents as the drivers really aren't trained to drive and from my experience they don't know the "rules of the road".  Nevertheless, I ride them daily.  Being 6'1 and broad shouldered makes for a cramped and overly tight ride in these sardine cans.  One is forced to contort one's shoulders so as to permit another passenger to sit on the adjacent seat.  Then there's the knees up by your chest as most Ghanaians aren't over 6 feet tall.  These Trotros definitely weren't designed well.  I get it though as they're just trying to jam as many people as possible inside so they can make more money.

Below is a shot of the mate (the guy who collects the money on the Trotro).  This was taken today as I journeyed from Tema Station to Kaneshie Market on my way to work.

On a good day it takes me approximately 1 hour 45 minutes to reach The Qodesh (Lighthouse Chapel International Headquarters church).  Actually, on December 14, 2010, I reached the office at that record time.  Thankfully, an MMT (Metro Mass Transit) bus heading towards “Circle”, more properly named Kwame Nkrumah Circle, met me at my junction (corner) and I rode comfortably across the city of Accra.  At Circle

MMT is a new idea brought in by the government to help streamline the busing situation in the city.  The idea is that the MMT will become a mass public transportation system, however without a designated bus lane I can’t see that lofty goal being attained.  Yes, it’s more comfortable and the price is actually cheaper than the Trotro’s in town, however both modes of transportation face the same traffic.

I think the bottom line in Accra is that unless drastic measures are taken then they'll never have a drastic change.  If they continue to take the same approach to solving their traffic dilemna, thinking it will change then the government is truly deceived.  It's really quite a shame.

That's all for now on riding Tro tro's in Ghana...

1 comment:

  1. Forgot to add that my wife drives a car... LOL. Marriage huh?