Former President John Dramani Mahama’s 24-hour economy policy has the potential to bring about significant transformation. However, for this vision to become a reality, it must be accompanied by a 24-hour public transport policy.
Implementing a 24-hour public transport policy will revolutionise Ghana’s public transportation system, enabling it to cater for the needs of a vibrant 24-hour economy. This move will represent a significant step toward aligning our transportation infrastructure with the requirements of a modern economy. It’s not only about extending operating hours; it’s also about creating an environment where businesses can prosper, workers can access opportunities and communities can thrive around the clock, thereby strengthening the vision of a 24-hour economy.
The public transport system will be operational 24/7 to ensure that workers, entrepreneurs and citizens have access to reliable transportation at any time – thereby promoting increased productivity and economic activity to meet the demands of a 24-hour economy. Ghana is committed to sustainability, and therefore the public transport system should prioritise using clean energy sources such as electric buses and trains to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier environment.
Investment in pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and bicycle lanes will encourage alternative and eco-friendly modes of transportation. The public transportation system should be accessible to all individuals, including older people and those with disabilities. The infrastructure must comply with universal accessibility standards. Affordability should be a cornerstone of enhanced public transport policy in a 24-hour economy.
The transformed public transport system will propel Ghana into a nation that caters to the needs of its citizens, and will influence the prosperity and well-being of generations to come. Transforming Ghana’s informal and inefficient public transport system into an enhanced and efficient one that supports a 24-hour economy requires a comprehensive and well-planned approach. There are a few strategies that Ghana can consider in transforming the existing public transport system:
Formalisation and regulation
Encourage the formalisation of informal transport services by providing incentives and support for operators to join regulated systems. Formalisation and regulation involve creating cooperative structures, offering financial incentives and training to enhance professionalism. This initiative seeks to introduce transparent regulatory frameworks that ensure safety, reliability and operational standards, and draw inspiration from successful examples observed in other countries worldwide.
Investment in mass transit systems
Invest in developing reliable mass transit systems such as buses and commuter trains. These systems should cover key routes and operate on fixed schedules, providing a more organised and efficient alternative to informal transport. Investment in mass transit systems holds immense potential to transform Ghana’s transportation landscape, offering a reliable, organised and efficient alternative to informal transport. By covering key routes, adhering to fixed schedules and prioritising affordability, accessibility and sustainability, these systems will contribute significantly to the nation’s 24-hour economic development, environmental preservation and social progress.
Upgrade and expand transportation infrastructure, including roads, bus-stops and terminals. Well-designed infrastructure can facilitate smoother traffic flow and make public transport more accessible and attractive to commuters. Investing in well-designed roads, bus-stops and terminals can enhance connectivity, improve safety and promote the use of public transport; ultimately contributing to overall prosperity and development of the nation through the 24-hour economy.
Integrate modes of transport
Develop an integrated and multimodal transport system that seamlessly connects various modes of transport, including buses, trains and possibly alternative modes like bicycles or e-scooters. By seamlessly connecting various modes of transport, we empower commuters with flexibility, convenience and sustainability while optimising the use of resources and promoting social inclusivity. Together, let us embark on this journey toward a brighter, more connected future for Ghana in the drive for a 24-hour economy.
Implement and enforce clear regulations for public transport operators, ensuring compliance with safety standards, fair pricing and service quality. Transparent and consistent rules will create a more organised and accountable transport system. Implementing and enforcing clear regulations for public transport operators in Ghana are essential steps toward building a safer, fairer and more responsible transportation system. By prioritising safety, fairness and service quality, we create a transportation environment that meets the needs of commuters, supports a 24-hour economy and enhances the overall well-being of our society.
Integrate technology solutions to enhance efficiency and user experience. Integrated technology may include implementing intelligent ticketing systems, real-time tracking and mobile apps for route information and payment. Technology can streamline operations and improve the system’s overall reliability. Adopting technology solutions in transportation represents a transformative opportunity to enhance efficiency, reliability and user experience in Ghana’s transportation system. By embracing smart ticketing systems, real-time tracking, mobile apps, predictive analytics and data-driven decision-making, we can create a more connected, convenient and sustainable transportation ecosystem that meets the needs of commuters and promotes the 24-hour economy policy and social development.
Public-private partnerships (PPPs)
President Mahama’s 24-hour economy should foster partnerships between the public and private sectors to leverage both strengths. Private companies can bring innovation, investment and operational expertise to the public transport sector – contributing to its modernisation. Through strategic collaboration, these partnerships drive innovation, investment and operational improvements that enhance the accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of public transportation services for all citizens in a 24-hour economy.
Capacity building and training:
Provide training programmes for public transport operators to enhance their customer service, safety and operational efficiency skills. Capacity building can contribute to a more professional and customer-centric transport workforce in a 24-hour economy.
Involve local communities in the planning and decision-making processes. Understanding different communities’ specific needs and preferences will help tailor public transport services to meet the demands of a 24-hour economy.
Gradual phasing-out of inefficient modes
President Mahama’s 24-hour economy should implement a phased approach to phase-out inefficient and informal modes of transport gradually. Gradual phasing-out could involve setting timelines for decommissioning certain types of vehicles or routes, while simultaneously introducing and expanding more efficient alternatives.
Public awareness campaigns
Conduct public awareness campaigns to inform citizens about benefits of the enhanced public transport system. Highlighting the advantages, such as improved safety, reliability and reduced congestion, can help build public support for the transformation.
Government commitment and policy support
The 24-hour economy should ensure strong government commitment to the transformation process by developing and implementing supportive policies. A strong government commitment includes providing financial support, creating regulatory frameworks and establishing a conducive environment for the growth of a modernised public transport system.
Continuous monitoring and evaluation
Establish mechanisms for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the transformed public transport system. Regular assessments will allow authorities to identify challenges, gather feedback and make necessary adjustments to ensure sustained success of the enhanced system for the 24-hour economy.
Implementing these strategies will require collaboration between various stakeholders, including government agencies, private operators and the public. A phased and well-managed approach will help ensure a smooth transition from the current informal and inefficient system to an enhanced public transport system that aligns with the goals of a 24-hour economy.
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