Case Study: Accra, Ghana


  • Urban passenger transport in Ghanaian cities is provided primarily by minibuses (tro-tros) which are individually owned, but are highly organized at route level through Unions. This has provides a stable system which is well understood by the customers. Nonetheless, there are limitations in vehicle and service quality that need to be addressed.
  • Large vehicle service provision is currently limited to the parastatal Metro Mass Transit and some bus companies with low market share.
  • Major sector reform is underway, primarily through the Ghana Urban Transport Project (GUTP). This includes regulatory and institutional development, a BRT corridor from the west of Greater Accra to the CBD, and improved bus routes with some bus priority on other corridors.
  • The local authorities (Assemblies) have taken on the regulatory role and are implementing a new Permit system; hitherto, the sector had been self-regulating. This places new management, monitoring, enforcement, administration and planning requirements on the Assemblies.
  • The tro-tro sector will need to develop Permit compliance capacity, both on the ground and in administrative/reporting terms. It also needs to improve the quality of its vehicles and its services
  • Both the BRT and the Permit Type B Routes will require the formation of new operating entities, new operating methods, and new operational capacity. In addition, a BRT Management Entity will be formed.
  • These are all likely to require ITS for Operations Management, Fare Collection, Passenger Information, and post-event analysis. The pressing timescale may require decisions on ITS in advance of these entities being established and in a position to define their functional requirements.
  • The current baseline for ITS is low, with no ITS and very little computerized systems currently deployed in UPT. There is not currently an active ITS supplier base in Ghana.


The focus of the Case Study is the private bus operator sector in the Greater Accra area of Ghana. This currently comprises c. 6,000 minibuses (trotros) on organized routs. This sector consists of vehicles that are individually owned, but with high concentration of organization through Unions. Attention is also paid to the requirements of the higher-order bus services which are currently in development (BRT, Permit Type B) for which the Operators are not yet in existence, and to the requirements of the Regulators (MMDAs).

The deployment of ITS at the parastatal Metro Mass Transit (MMT) is not considered in this Case Study as it would be a conventional implementation of a type is adequately described elsewhere.

Urban and Road Passenger Transportation challenges

The primary challenges in the Urban and Road Passenger Transportation sector are:

  • Managing urban growth and development, which in recent decades has taken the form of poorly regulated sprawl, with many areas of low density
  • Major congestion in the urban areas, especially the Greater Accra Region, with consequent impacts on the economy, air quality, and quality of life
  • Major peak-hour congestion and on the approach roads to/from Accra CBD to the suburban areas and the hinterland, such that each way commute times in excess of two hours are common
  • Road safety
  • Air quality
  • Improving the quality of the road passenger transport and the supporting customer infrastructure and services
  • Improving the capacity and sustainability of the parastatal operator MMT
  • Encouraging sustainable investment in the sector

Objectives of the Road Passenger Transport Stakeholders

The principle Objectives of the Road Passenger Transport stakeholders can be summarised as follows:

Transport Regulators:

  • Bring all current transport Operators into the common regulatory structure, and enforce effectively against unauthorised operations
  • Ensure that all regulated road passenger transport is fully compliant with both administrative and service quality conditions
  • Ensure the development of sufficient infrastructure for road passenger transport, including terminals, parking, bus stops, road surface quality, etc.
  • Working with the Operators, progressively improve the quality of vehicles, quality of service and professional standards of operating staff
  • Working with the Operators, develop and adapt the network of road passenger transport services in line with actual and forecast demand
  • Develop higher quality bus services on axes of higher demand, including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and scheduled bus services
  • Develop tariff-setting mechanisms that balance the interests of the public and the Operators, and that ensure the sustainability of the road passenger transport

The principle objectives of the Operator Unions are (assumed, based on previous interactions):

  • Maintain their primary role in the organisation of road passenger transport
  • Maintain their membership structure and levels, through a period of regulatory, institutional and industry structure change
  • Maintain part or all of their role as Terminal managers and route dispatch
  • Maintain or increase their revenues and financial capacity
  • Maintain a significant role in tariff-setting at national and local levels
  • Maintain a significant role in selection and purchasing of vehicles for the Operator fleet

The principle objectives of the Operators/Owners are:

  • Secure their continued operation within the Permit system
  • Comply with Permit requirements
  • Achieve sustainability and reasonable profit
  • Achieve sufficient cash-flow to cover all costs, including vehicle repayments
  • Optimise the number of trips operated per day, and minimise idle time at terminals
  • Optimise revenue, either through direct collection or the daily rate agreed with operating crews
  • Manage cost items, including fuel, parts and maintenance
  • Gain access to finance for vehicle replacement, when required

Strategies for improvement of Urban Road Passenger Transport

National Transport Policy

The National Transport Policy establishes high-level Goals and Objectives for improvement of Road Passenger Transport, including Urban Road Passenger Transport. This includes strengthening the institutional, regulatory and governance frameworks, and greater integration with initiatives on the economy, on urban development, and with other Transport sub-sectors. While work on the NTP is ongoing, to date this has not yet developed into detailed strategies for the Urban Road Passenger Transport sector.

Ghana Urban Transport Project

The Ghana Urban Transport Project (GUTP) provides the current practical measures for improving UPT. The Government of Ghana has partnered with the World Bank, the Global Environmental Facility and the Agence Francaise de Developpement to execute the GUTP, which aims at addressing some of the numerous urban transportation problems in the major urban areas in Ghana.

The UTP is to be implemented over a 5-year period from 2008-2012. The total value of the project is $95 million, consisting of various financing from the Development Partners and co-financing from the Government of Ghana.

Ten Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the greater Accra and the greater Kumasi areas are participating in the project. It is foreseen that the approach and methods pioneered in Accra and Kumasi would then be migrated to other urban areas in Ghana.

The two key objectives of the UTP are:

  • to improve mobility in the areas of the participating MMDAs through a combination of traffic engineering measures, management improvements, regulation of the public transport industry and implementation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system; and
  • to promote a shift to more environmentally sustainable transport modes and lower transport related Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions along the BRT corridor in Accra.

These objectives are to be addressed under the following five main components:

  • Institutional development,
  • Traffic engineering, management and safety,
  • Development of a BRT system,
  • Integration of urban development and transport planning; and
  • Project outcome monitoring.

Sector Restructuring

A complete and comprehensive restructuring of the sector is required, based on five complementary pillars:

  • A regulatory framework that provides a legal basis for the re-organization of the sector at the national level
  • Regulatory institutions that have sufficient capability to plan, regulate, and guide the industry at the local level
  • An industry structure that can compete and operate within the regulatory framework and attract the needed investment at the local level
  • A culture of compliance with the regulatory framework, and the commitment and power to enforce and penalize offences at the local level
  • Infrastructure and a suitable operating environment to support improved urban transport services in Accra and Kumasi metropolitan areas

The starting point was very low for all five pillars, presenting a significant challenge. Nonetheless, this challenge has been taken up. The Urban Transport Project was constructed to provide a comprehensive and integrated set of institutional enablers and physical infrastructure. It is important to note that none of the elements of the UTP is an end in itself – not even the BRT – but rather part of the process which establishes and secures the framework for effective and efficient urban transport in all Ghana’s urban areas.

Developing the Institutional Framework

Development of the Institutional Framework is the core of the Urban Transport Project. The UTP actions consist of five main strands:

  • Establishing the Legal and Regulatory Frameworks
  • Establishing the Institutional Framework
  • Establishing Bye-laws and Regulations
  • Establishing Urban Passenger Transport Units at the MMDAs
  • Building Capacity

During 2008-11, a significant part of this framework has already been established.

It is worth noting that, prior to project-start, the UPT sector was self-regulating and that the local authorities (MMDAs) had no role in planning, regulation or development of UPT (except to provide terminals).

New Institutional Framework

The Institutional Framework is transitioning to the following proposed arrangement:

  • All regulatory authority for Urban Passenger Transport services is vested in the MMDAs, which will establish their own in-house structures to carry out the role for their area.
  • The Accra MMDAs will establish a Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE) or similar organisation by 2011 to deal with cross-MMDA issues of regulation, development and organisation of UPT. A similar entity will be established for Greater Kumasi, but this may be a year or two later.
  • GAPTE will be an executive arm with governance and representation from the participating MMDAs. Legal authority will remain with the MMDAs. It will have a permanent staff and will carry out nominated functions on behalf of the participating MMDAs, including regulation, permit issuance, co-ordination of travel demand analysis and transport planning, and co-ordination of ticketing and pricing
  • A Centre for Urban Transport will be established by the start of 2010 to provide advisory functions, training and capacity building, and to carry out specialist planning and research for the urban transport sector.

New Permit System

The MMDAs will now regulate the UPT sector. The migration path consists of three main stages:

  • Registration: bringing the operators into the system
  • Type A permit: establishing the basic framework and basic quality
  • Type B permits: raising quality and stimulating investment

For higher order services, Route Service Contracts will be provided in conjunction with Type B Permits.

A firm Enforcement regime underpins the regulatory framework, which has been developed in consultation with the Operators.

Bus Rapid Transit

Bus Rapid Transit is being implemented on a corridor from the west of Accra to the CBD, as part of the GUTP. It is planned that 11 BRT services (routes and express/stopping variants) will be operated by a number of new bus operating companies, requiring a total of more than 300 large buses. The new companies have yet to be formed. A BRT Management entity will be established to manage the operations, customer-facing services, marketing, terminal and bus stop services, infrastructure management, enforcement and marketing.

The first part of the works has already commenced, and BRT services are expected to commence in 2012 or 2013. The Operations Management and Fare Collection strategy are still in development. It is likely that some ITS will be required but this has not yet been specified.

Permit Type B Routes

Separate from the BRT, the Permit Type B is designed for higher-quality routes which would normally involve investment in new buses, improvement in organisational and quality capacity, improved customer facilities and terminals and bus-stops, and a moderate level of bus priority and supportive traffic engineering measures.

The design for 4 Pilot Type B Routes is currently ongoing (3 in Accra, 1 in Kumasi), with routes expected to commence operations in 2012. The Operations Management and Fare Collection strategy are still in development. It is likely that some ITS will be required but this has not yet been specified.

Whereas further BRT alignments are something to be examined at a later stage, it is a firm intention that many more Permit Type B routes would be established as the business and operations approaches are developed in the Pilot routes.  

Structure of the Urban Road Passenger Transport Sector in Ghana

Types of Urban Road Passenger Transport

Within the main metropolitan areas (including greater Accra and Kumasi), there are two main forms of public transport operations:

Tro-tro (mini buses) and shared taxi services, which are managed by unions and co-operatives and offer services along defined routes, usually between terminals or ‘lorry parks’.  In the Greater Accra area there are believed to be about 6,000 engaged in the operation of recognized routes.

These services have many positive points including universal provision, stability, self-financing, and relative affordability to the people.

Nonetheless, these operations also suffer from a number of quality problems including: (i) operation of a ‘fill and go’ system which can result in long delays for users in the off-peak, and difficulty to board along the route; (ii) large numbers of vehicles parked at terminals in the off-peak leading to congestion, inefficiency, and long hours for drivers; (iii) lack of incentives for vehicle owners to improve their vehicles or to train their drivers properly.

Large bus services, mostly provided by the new Metro Mass Transit (MMT), a quasi-private company that receives favorable financial support from the government. MMT currently has a total fleet of about 1,000 vehicles, of which about 250 operate in and around Accra.

Structure of the UPT Sector

The structure of the operating industry in Accra and Kumasi consists of the following elements:

  • Operating unions and associations. There are three operating unions and associations. (i) The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), a national union, is reported to have 75-90% of the tro-tro and shared taxi business. The fundamental units are Locals, which operate the individual routes, and Branches, which are regional clusters of Locals. GPRTU represents the interests of both drivers and of vehicle owners. (ii) The Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), is a national association that operates both tro-tro and shared taxi business and is organized along the same structure as the GPRTU. PROTOA mainly represents the interest of owners. (iii) The Ghana Co-operative Transport Association (GCTA) is a national association also organized along the lines of GPRTU and represents interest of both owners and drivers.
  • Other private operators. Other private operators, such as Agate, Kingdom Transport, and Pergah Transport, are companies operating several buses and offering a range of services including contract service, urban services, and intercity services.
  • Metro Mass Transit (MMT). MMT is a quasi-private company which is owned by a set of Government-linked financial institutions and one privately owned bank, with a substantial (45 percent) Government minority shareholding. MMT receives financial support from the Government and currently operates about 500 buses of which some 200 operate in the greater Accra area.
  • Ghana Road Transport Coordination Council (GRTCC). GRTCC is an umbrella body of all transport operators in Ghana, including the unions and associations, other locally based associations, and other operators (both passenger and road haulers). GRTCC represents the interests of road transport operators, especially in negotiating with the Government of Ghana for transport tariffs and assistance in acquisition of buses. The effectiveness of GRTCC is highly dependent on the willingness of GPRTU to act in close co-operation with it, as they represent the majority of the industry sector

Potential new Operator types

The sector development occurring within GUTP may lead to a number of new stakeholders within the Operator sector. It is possible that these would be new entrants, but it is more likely that they will emerge as a transformation of existing Operators:

  • Bus Companies operating Type B Permits, normally using large buses. They would be structured as companies, and would provide scheduled bus services along specific routes. It is probable that they would own their own vehicles and employ the operating staff, but other arrangements are possible.
  • Bus Companies operating BRT routes, using high-quality large buses. These are likely to be more formal and larger in scale that the companies operating the Type B routes, to own or lease the fleet they use, and to have a higher operational and organizational capacity.
  • Bus Companies operating BRT feeder routes, using vehicles of an appropriate size to the route requirements. They are likely to be of stronger corporate form where large vehicles are requires, although they may be more like route associations or co-operatives if smaller vehicles are required.
  • BRT System Manager, which will manage all aspects of the BRT operations, the customer-facing services, and the BRT infrastructure and facilities. The BRT System Manager is unlikely to directly operate any services, but will have an agreement with the Operators who do.

Discussion about ITS in Accra needs to take account of these entities that do not yet exist (and hence cannot articulate their functional requirements or technical preferences).

Organisational, operational and business challenges facing the industry

The principle challenges facing the industry sector at present are:

  • Completing the new regulatory system and bringing all UPT services in Greater Accra and Kumasi into the Permit Type A and Permit Type B system
  • Establishing effective and efficient monitoring and enforcement of compliance with the Permits, in a manner that achieves regulator goals without placing excessive compliance burden on Operators
  • Improving the quality of the tro-tro services and their associated facilities
  • Establishing the Permit Type B routes, including the development of new operational methods and improved operating conditions
  • Establishment of the BRT system and Management entity
  • Formation of the new Operating Companies/Entities for the Permit Type B and BRT routes
  • Financing of new vehicles for Permit Type B and BRT routes
  • Upgrading the tro-tro fleet
  • Developing effective Operations Management and Fare Collection systems and capacity, appropriate for the different service types
  • Understanding the actual travel demand in Greater Accra and realigning the UPT services to better serve them
  • Assisting the Operator sector to transition to the new structures

Previous or Ongoing Studies

There have not been previous studies of the requirements for ITS or Fare Collection systems for the UPT sector in Ghana.

The detailed design for the BRT has identified potential deployment scenarios, but has not prepared detailed designs. The initial concept is that the BRT would be implemented without AVL or other supporting ITS.

MMT is believed to have carried out a limited pilot study of GPS-enabled AVL.

Principal Functional Requirements

A Workshop was held in Accra on 24th February to discuss the potential role for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in public transport services in Ghana. The Workshop was organized and facilitated by the IMCO of GUTP.

The Objective of the Workshop was:

  • to consider whether there is a meaningful role for ITS
  • if so, how to define such roles and how to take it forward

After considering all that arose during the Workshop discussion, all participants agreed that there is definitely a role for ITS in public transport in Ghana.

As developed in the sections following, the role needs to be properly defined use appropriate approaches so that it is practical and relevant to the various sectors.

Sectors which may have a need for ITS

Four sectors were identified within the Public Transport business:

  • Bus Rapid Transit – high quality bus services operated by companies
  • Type B Routes – i.e. operated with buses by entities of corporate form
  • Type A Routes – i.e. the tro-tro sector and some lower quality bus services
  • Regulators – i.e. the Assemblies who, at a minimum issue permits and require compliance, and are empowered to plan and develop UPT

The discussion came to a firm conclusion that each of these sectors has requirements for ITS. However, the discussion also considered that:

  • each sector has quite different needs
  • the concepts, technical approach and mode of implementation and use would be different
  • the sectors should be considered separately, and then see where there is overlap or similarity

Principal Functional Requirements for ITS for each sector

Potential needs for the individual sectors have been identifed in the Tables below.

Sector Functions/needs which may be supported by ITS
  • Real time vehicle tracking and location
  • Voice/data communication between vehicle and control centre
  • Manage dispatching
  • Manage on-time departures from terminal
  • Priority at Traffic lights
  • Manage vehicle throughput at stops
  • Manage passenger throughput at stops
  • Manage time-keeping along the route
  • Monitor/enforce bus lanes, priority measures
  • Incident and emergency detection and management
  • Fare collection
  • On-line Journey Planning facilities
  • Real-time Passenger Information real time via internet and mobile phone (journey planning)
  • Passenger information at stops and in-vehicle
  • Scheduling
  • Support Dynamic changes in route plan / assignment
  • Back-office systems
  • Performance monitoring (SLA and Operator)
  • Post-event analysis, including replay and analysis of trip logs
  • Monitor speed of vehicle (excessive/erratic speed detection)
  • Vehicle condition and maintenance information
  • CCTV
  • Driver/Passenger panic button for incidents
  • Advertisement and entertainment onboard
  • Alert on tampering of monitoring equipment
  • System redundancy in event of critical failure
  • Operational and management reports
Type B Routes
  • Real time vehicle tracking and location
  • Voice/data communication between vehicle and dispatcher
  • Manage dispatching
  • Manage on-time departures from terminal
  • Manage time-keeping along the route
  • Priority at Traffic lights
  • Monitor/enforce bus lanes, priority measures
  • Incident and emergency detection and management
  • Fare collection
  • On-line Journey Planning facilities
  • Real-time Passenger Information real time via internet and mobile phone (journey planning)
  • Scheduling
  • Back-office systems
  • Performance monitoring (SLA and Operator)
  • Post-event analysis, including replay and analysis of trip logs
  • Monitor speed of vehicle (excessive/erratic speed detection)
  • Vehicle condition and maintenance information
  • CCTV
  • Driver panic button for incidents
  • Alert on tampering of monitoring equipment
  • System redundancy in event of critical failure
  • Operational and management reports
Type A Routes
  • Ensure permit condition compliance at entity level
  • Ensure individual members are compliant
  • Manage administration associated with permit compliance
  • Manage dispatching, respect fill’n’go rules
  • Real time vehicle tracking and location
  • Voice/data communication between vehicle and dispatcher
  • Monitor off-route travel / unauthorised operation
  • Monitor vehicle-km operated (for vehicle owners)
  • Monitor speed of vehicle (excessive/erratic speed detection)
  • Monitor fuel consumption (for vehicle owners)
  • Theft recovery (for vehicle owners)
  • Emergency messaging
  • Alert on tampering of monitoring equipment
  • Post-event analysis, including replay and analysis of trip logs
  • Operational and management reports (less than BRT and Type B but sufficient to support effective reporting)
  • Journey planning facilities
  • On-line Journey Planning facilities
  • Route status information for passengers via internet and mobile phone (not full RTPI)
  • Performance monitoring (SLA and Operator)
  • Vehicle condition and maintenance information
  • Driver panic button for incidents
  • Fare collection
Assemblies/ Regulators
  • Monitor Permit Compliance
  • Travel Demand analysis and Network Planning
  • Route / service performance analysis
  • Monitor vehicle availability rate / SLA delivery
  • Monitor speed of vehicle for safety purposes
  • Post-event analysis, including replay and analysis of trip logs, for investigation of incidents or complaints
  • Route and sectional travel time and speeds analysis
  • Operational and management reports

Recommendations about technical approach

The technology approach should be appropriate to the setting and to those who are expected to use it.  The user interaction with the system devices (BRT Bus, Type B and Type A) should be minimal with no prior technical “know how” required of the users.  Support must be available locally with sufficient local technical expertise required to support the system.  

Affordability is an issue, so lower cost but reliable systems, sub-systems and components should be considered.

Systems and equipment should not be any more sophisticated then is needed. Complexity should be avoided.

Especially for the Type A services, which includes all of the trotro sector, it must be accepted that many of the drivers/mates have a low level of literacy or may not be literate in the prevailing language, and many working in the industry have a low level of education. Conceptual design, interfaces, etc. need to take full account of this. Data capture devices and data transfer should be automated as far as is reasonably practicable.

The stickers issued with Permits could be redesigned and based on a robust RFID. This would allow enforcement staff and other officials to read the sticker electronically with hand-held devices . They could verify both that it is genuine and that the vehicle is being used on a route for which it is authorised. In addition to the unique reference code of the RFID itself, it may be possible to include data elements such as the route/zone associated with the permit, vehicle registration number, vehicle type, owner identifier, etc.

If RFID-stickers were issued for that enforcement purpose, the entity officers at the terminals could also read them and record departures by each vehicle. It would also be possible to read the RFID for other purposes such as fuel issuing, daily departure from the depot, maintenance events, etc. and to use the RFID read as an input to any such computerised systems. This will both provide an authentic record and reduce inputs errors.

The potential for using GPS-enabled mobile phones as a basic component was discussed and seems feasible. All drivers have a phone, although it may be  necessary to upgrade some of them. This could provide a universal platform for gathering vehicle locations, both for real-time functions and for downsteam administrative and analysis functions. One option is to use the driver’s own mobile phone, which has the advantage of also supporting voice communication with the driver. Another option is to embed a mobile phone within the vehicle, with which the driver has no interaction.

If the GPS-enabled mobile phone approach is used, it would be necessary to talk to the telecommunication companies to see what they could do in terms of getting the location data (e.g. by SMS exchange), the pricing package, the collection and management of the data, distributing it to the users, and any other services they would think of.

Real-time vehicle location data is of greatest use when dispatchers can use it to manage the daily service, ensuring that services depart on time, and responding to unexpected demands, disruptions or breakdowns. The dispatcher will require a display of the real-time information, and perhaps also other on-/off-line data. The environment at the terminals were noted,  which could be a challenge for desktops/laptops, wiring, communications. One suggestion is use of i-pad (or other such device) for the entity officials at the terminals – these are portable and doesn’t need wire or power connections. This could have  some applications to receive the location data and interface for dispatch and administration.

Current Level of Implementation of ITS or Computerised Systems

The operating Companies/Entities for the BRT and Permit Type B routes are not yet formed.

ITS, IT or Computerised Systems are non-existent in the tro-tro sector at the Operational or Organisational layers, although it is possible that some owners keep their own records.

Metro Mass Transit does have computerised administrative and management systems, including stores and inventory management. It is believed that there are currently no ITS applications deployed at MMT, other than the small pilot of GPS-based AVL.

The MMDAs have established computerised databases for the administration of Permits. Currently they do not have travel demand or traffic models, or network or route design software.

Financial Capability of Operator to Purchase and Maintain ITS Systems

The Operating entities of the BRT and Permit Type B Routes are likely to have the financial capacity to purchase and maintain ITS systems, given that they will need to make the significantly greater investment in new large vehicles.

By contrast, the tro-tro sector operates on extremely tight margins and will have low capacity to purchase and maintain ITS systems.

The MMDAs/Regulators would have financial capacity for some ITS for their own requirements. However, it is highly unlikely that they would have the capacity to finance the deployment of ITS across the Operators, unless they acted as facilitator and levied the cost from the sector (e.g. in Permit or in usage fees).

Potential benefits

It was agreed that if there are not benefits, it is hard to see that ITS systems would be deployed or used. After some discussion, it was felt that benefits could be streamed in two ways:

  • Nature:
  • Benefits of better compliance, and hence avoiding penalties or even losing the operating permit for the Route
  • Benefits arising from some sort of gain – e.g. reduced admnistrative costs, better productivity, reduced fuel consumption, improved revenues, better analysis.
  • Beneficiary:
  • Entity-level
  • Individual operators
  • Vehicle owner
  • Other stakeholders

The benefits can be presented in a table for each sector. At this stage, it is not possible to anticipate the scale of the benefits or even if they really will occur. The tables are intended to indicate what sort of benefits could be expected.

Potential benefits for BRT by using ITS




BRT System Operator

Assist with compliance of service standards devised for system

Efficient BRT system

Route Operator

Help meet conditions of route contracts

Visibility of system bottlenecks and vehicle deployment strategy


Potential benefits for Permit Type B Route by using ITS




Route Operator

Assist operator to meet conditions of RSC

  • Faster, more reliable running due to priority at signals and enforcement of bus lanes
  • Reduced operating costs, better fuel consumption
  • Better productivity of expensive vehicles
  • ---

Vehicle owners

Monitor vehicle productivity and performance

Better vehicle productivity


Supervise compliance with RSC conditions

Improved system performance


Potential benefits for Type A routes (trotros) by using ITS




Route Operator

  • Better compliance with permit conditions, avoid sanctions
  • Error-free, faster reporting
  • Reduced cost of administration
  • Improved dispatching
  • Option to acquire the vehicles directly from the owners and allocate drivers from own pool
  • ….

Vehicle owners

  • Simpler compliance
  • Knowledge of actual usage
  • Better position to negotiate price for use


  • Simpler compliance
  • Non-compliant drivers/ owners resolved or removed

Improved employment conditions re: driver hours/remuneration


Potential benefits for Transport Authorities/Regulators by using ITS





  • Performance monitoring;
  • Visibility of satisfying SLA


  • Ability to monitor compliance across many routes and thousands of vehicles
  • Ability to track sub-contracting of routes
  • Ability to verify permit on-the-spot
  • Better control of floaters
  • Data for network and route service planning
  • Assist to develop Transport Action Plans

Traffic managers

  • Ability to monitor violations of bus priority facilities
  • Data for monitoring travel times and delay locations
  • Information to support enforcement of regulations


Background availability of Support Systems and Data

There are multiple GSM service providers in the Greater Accra area.

GIS/mapping data is limited.

There are currently very few ITS applications in any sector, with some limited forays in the freight/logistics sector.  The supplier base is currently very limited and will need to be encouraged to enter the Ghanaian market.

Smart cards are not in widespread use for payments.

Potential initiators/advocates of ITS Deployment

Four issues were identified:

  1. Who is in charge of ITS deployment? Are the Assemblies (regulators) the natural leader?
  2. Who should pay for the infrastructure and systems?  
  3. Who is in charge of the ITS Operations after deployment?
  4. Who will be the entity that receives and manages the vehicle location data?

These issues are currently open.