A year after the launch of the Urban Transport Project (UPT), some metropolitan and municipal assemblies have begun its implementation at the local levels.
Personnel have been employed who will administer the Urban Passenger Transportation Units (UPTU) in the participating assemblies, which include the Accra, Tema and Kumasi Metropolitan Assemblies, as well as the Ga East, Ga West, and Ejisu Juabeng Municipal Assemblies.
The 18 personnel on Monday began a 10-day induction training in Accra.
After the training, they will begin putting in place the systems and regulations necessary for an efficient urban transportation system at their various assemblies.
These will include the registration of vehicles engaged in commercial transportation, and the licensing of vehicles to ply particular routes in the metropolis and municipalities.
They will also set up a database for the transportation services.
Two ministries — the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment (MLGRDE) — are collaborating in the implementation of the project.
Opening the induction training in Accra on Monday, a Deputy Minister of the MLGRDE, Alhaji Ahmed Yiremeah Awudu, said the training signified the commencement of real work for the Urban Transport Project at the assembly levels.
He commended the Project Advisory Office and the development partners for their tireless efforts and emphasised the changes that the project would bring about in the way urban transportation would be run in the country.
These changes would include the assemblies taking up the creation of bus stops and terminals, as well as their operation and management.
They will also set standards in the type of licensed vehicles to run particular routes and ensure proper regulation.
Alhaji Awudu said the Urban Transportation Project would introduce an urban regulatory regime that would ensure that the operators in the sector were guided and enabled to provide decent and efficient services to passengers.
A Deputy Minister of Transportation, Mr Magnus Opare Asamoah, who chaired the programme, said the UPT was part of the national transportation policy geared towards the provision of good services.
With funding secured, all was set to improve urban transportation services through the appropriate policy framework and legislation, and that would also attract investors into the sector for further growth and development, he added.
A Director of the Department of Urban Roads, Mr Isaac K. Mensah, said a key issue in the project was the reduction in the cost of transporting people.
He said in the past the practice was to use a vehicle as the unit measure in finding solutions to congestion and transportation challenges, which led to the expansion of roads, but no lasting solutions were found.
According to him, currently emphasis was being placed on the individual and how he/she could commute from one end of the city to the other as against a vehicle.
SUBMITTED MONDAY SEPTEMBER 8, 2008
PUBLISHED, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 13, 2008, PG 18