Public bus passenger safety evaluations in Ghana: A phenomenological constructivist exploration

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - africa, mode - bus, ridership - perceptions, planning - safety/accidents, planning - personal safety/crime


Safety evaluations, Public bus/minibus, Passengers, Phenomenology, Ghana


Notwithstanding the growing body of literature that recognises the importance of personal safety to public transport (PT) users, it remains unclear what PT users consider regarding their safety. In this study, we explore the criteria PT users in Ghana use to assess bus safety. This knowledge will afford a better understanding of PT users’ risk perceptions and assessments which may contribute to theoretical models of PT risk perceptions. We utilised phenomenological research methodology, with data drawn from 61 purposively sampled participants. Data collection (through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews) and analyses were done concurrently to the point of saturation. Our inductive data coding and analyses through the constant comparison and content analytic techniques resulted in 4 code categories (conceptual dimensions), 27 codes (safety items/criteria), and 100 quotations (data segments). The vehicle condition, driver’s marital status and transport operator’s safety records were the most important criteria participants use in assessing bus safety. These findings imply that investment in, and maintenance of safer vehicles, and responsible and safety-conscious drivers, and prioritisation of passengers’ safety are key-targets for public bus/minibus operators in Ghana.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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