The 13-member committee constituted by the Greater Accra Regional Co-ordinating Council to resolve the misunderstanding between the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) on one hand and the Urban Transport Project, the Metropolitan, and Municipal Assemblies on the other over the proposed Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project has presented it report to the council.
The misunderstanding arose over the institutionalization of the bye-laws to regulate the operation of the BRT in Accra and Kumasi.
The GPRTU contended that aspects of the bye-laws gave too much power to the operators of BRT which could stifle the business of its members.
In April this year the GPRTU staged a demonstration in protest against the BRT which resulted in the setting up of the committee.
The BRT is being put in place to improve mobility in selected metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies through a combination of traffic engineering measures, management improvements, regulation of urban passenger transport.
The BRT will also promote a shift to a more environmentally sustainable urban transport mode and encourage lower transport-related green house gas emissions along the pilot corridor in Accra.
The five main components of the project are institutional development, traffic engineering, management and safety, development of the BRT system, the integration of urban development planning and transport planning for better environmental management and monitoring and evaluation.
The assemblies included in the project are Accra, Tema, Ga East, Ga West, Ga South, Ledzokuku-Krowor, Adentan and Ashaiman.
At a media briefing in Accra yesterday to announce the resolution of the dispute the Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashietey said “although it has taken this long for us to come to this amicable settlement, you will all agree with me that it is better to dialogue to settle disputes than fight one another”.
He urged all transport operators to appreciate what was being done under the BRT since it would be in the interest of all adding that the major cities were cloged with cars and other small vehicles which made driving very stressful.
The Regional Vice Chairman of the GPRTU, Robert Sarbah, who spoke to the Times, expressed satisfaction with the amendments made to the bye-law and praised the Regional Minister for his intervention.
Mr Sarbah said “as it stands now, all the parties understand each other and we have all come to common conclusion which has been factored in the new bye-law.”
The committee amended 13 bye-laws and five procedures to suit the GPRTU, in the operation of the BRT which comes into effect in the selected areas in 2012. For now the BRT would be piloted from UTC areas through Kaneshie, Mallam and end at Kasoa.
The parties signed a memorandum of understanding to enable them work together successfully.