A few weeks ago, I was at the State Transport Corporation(STC) Achimota Station Branch to pick a bus to Wa. Whilst waiting for my bus which was taking forever to arrive, I couldn’t help but notice some of the buses from the BRT Bus services popularly known as “Aayalolo” standing idle and wasting away.
Now if you guys remember, in 2016, former President Mahama and his government secured a total of 245 buses from the Scannia Group of Sweden to operate a bus rapid transport (BRT) system. According to reports by Joy News, the cost of the buses together with the development of the infrastructure, cost Ghana $151 million, $7 million was a grant from the Global Environmental Fund and the rest of the money are loans which are to be paid with interest.
From the news I have gathered, a total of 150 of the said buses are the ones I saw wasting away inside the Achimota New Nation: the reason been that operators of the buses can no longer bear the cost of fuel. Yes, they cannot bare the cost of fuel!
I have also read that operators of the buses have been bailed out on numerous occasions to no avail. Meaning, there’s no way this particular government is going to pay any attention to reviving them. Which also translates into the fact that these buses are going to stand there forever and rot.
As for the loans, we will pay, we have no choice. Whether the buses start running again or not, the loans will be paid. In that regard, I was thinking, why don’t we focus on other avenues to pay off the loans and use the buses for something equally important like school transportation? Instead of allowing these buses to rot, why don’t we distribute them to some public or even private schools in the country to aid them as school transport? 1 cedi per ride for a kid won’t be so bad isn’t it?
You and I can testify as to how dangerous it is to see these school children in the city endanger their lives on the road every day trying to board public vehicles every morning to school. But having one bus that makes stops to pick these kids up at a particular spot won’t be such a bad idea.
These 245 buses may not solve all our problems of school transportation but at least they can be put into use and serve a good purpose other than wasting away.