Title

PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN GHANAIAN CITIES -- A CASE OF UNION POWER.

Authors

P R. Fouracre

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1994

Subject Area

place - urban

Keywords

Urban transit, Labor unions, Jitney service, Ghana

Abstract

The performance and development of urban public transport in Ghana are examined and an explanation is sought of the role of unions and how the attempts of Government to develop its own public transport organization have failed. The public transport development options that the Government is now considering attempt to make the best use of the unions' capabilities, while reducing dependence on union powers. The trotros of Ghana have been the mainstay of Ghana's public transport system for many years, despite concerned attempts by successive Governments to develop and maintain publicly organized stage-bus services. A characteristic of this sector is the very powerful influence of the Owner and Driver Unions. Their power is exerted through control of the terminals from which services are operated. Through their control of the terminals, the Unions have effective quantity control of the public transport sector and hence control of service quality. Under its Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) the Government of Ghana is considering divesting itself of its public investment in bus operations. Attempts to use the State-owned transport companies to provide a viable alternative to the trotros have foundered in the usual pitfalls of state ownership. At stake is how to relinquish completely the responsibility of running bus services to the private sector, without the users suffering the imposition of the unions' restrictive practices.