Urban sprawl and transportation

Together with informal settlements in the periphery, in Accra a big system of informal transportation has been created. It is mainly the system of trotros, little vans which can contain up to about 20 people. This is the only way for slum dwellers to reach their homes as the public transportation system only serves the city center and is also not very developed. It very uncommon to see a full city bus, while it is very uncommon to see an almost empty trotro! Most of the trotro users are those living in poor areas who cannot afford a car. It is interesting to notice that while most people cannot afford a car, it’s the norm in Accra to have streets without sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to share the same space with cars and sellers’ stands. The city looks in fact planned more for car than for people, therefore only for an elite (car owners). However even the road and transport infrastructure is very congested and is not sufficient to contain the traffic flow. The transportation network design itself is insufficient with stops only in the main points in some areas, especially as we move more and more to the periphery. So the passenger still will probably need to walk extensively and likely on the road as sidewalks are missing, in order to catch a vehicle. Since the system is unplanned, there are not proper stops and the vans mainly stops just on the carriageway with very low safety for other vehicles and for the passengers.


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