THE Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is to introduce a new regulatory regime for transport operations in the metropolis.
Under the new regime, which is expected to come into force this year, the assembly would take full control of regulating transport service activities including local transport policy and planning, pass bye-laws, and register, license, enforce and monitor public transport operations.
The KMA Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, said “by this the operator will continue its role as the player while the assembly assumes the legal role as referee”.
Briefing journalists about the state of the Urban Transport Project (UTP) for Kumasi, Mr Sarpong said the assembly had passed the urban transport services bye-laws to regulate passenger transport operations in the city.
Besides, the assembly had established UTP Units to, among other things, establish and implement procedures for operation of urban transport services within its jurisdiction and monitor compliance of the guidelines.
About two years ago, the government launched the UTP with the objective to deal with congestion and help improve mobility within the metropolis.
Kumasi had been confronted with a number of transport challenges, including long travel times, unavailability of terminals and bus stops, pollution arising from vehicular emissions, and limited regulation of public transport services.
Today, over 70 per cent of roads in Kumasi are congested and more than 70 per cent of people in the metropolis depend on public transport mostly ‘trotro’, taxis and buses.
Mr Sarpong noted that extensive sensitisation exercises had been carried out about the new transport regulation regime to enable the operators to appreciate its importance.
He, however, stated that the assembly would continue with the education to enable the people to fully appreciate the importance of the project.
The chief executive said the KMA was preparing to launch a route registration exercise of all public transport routes and subsequently, issue permits to the operators of those routes.
This would, among other things, help build fruitful relationship between the transport operators and the assembly and help the assembly regulate and plan its infrastructure provisions.
‘Major works will also begin on selected junctions, terminals and bus stops to improve general traffic flow in the city,” Mr Sarpong said.
He disclosed that procurement process had begun to secure the services of a firm to provide central control systems for traffic lights in Kumasi and Accra under the UTP.
He appealed to the media to assist the KMA implement the new transport regime.