The management of the Aayalolo Bus Service and the ministries of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and Transport have expressed commitment to roll out the service on the Adentan-Tudu corridor before the end of the year.
A Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr O. B. Amoah, made this known in an interview Friday after the launch of a programme to recruit and train over 60 women to drive the buses in Accra.
However, Mr Amoah said after the lanes had been constructed, 68 more buses out of the number would be deployed onto the Adentan routes, noting that preparations were underway to deploy some of the buses onto the Kasoa-Tudu corridors also to ease traffic.
“The ministries and implementing agencies will play their part to ensure the success of the programme, but it is the responsibility of the public to patronise the service because it is a national asset. This is key to its success and sustainability,” he said.
Women in driving
Known as the Female Driver Programme, it is expected that over 60 women will be recruited and trained within six months to drive the Aayalolo fleet.
The programme is a collaborative effort between the Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE), managers of the Aayalolo buses, Scania Ghana and the German government.
At the launch, 100 women were invited for an open discussion on the task ahead, after which 60 who successfully complete a screening exercise will be selected.
In his address, the Chief Executive Officer of GAPTE, Mr Sampson N. Gyamera, said the programme was to empower the women to bridge the gender gap in driving commercial vehicles.
It is also meant to provide ready employment for the women for them to be self-sufficient and contribute to national development.
Mr Gyamera indicated that the involvement of the women was part of preparations to beef up the number of drivers who would operate the buses when the other corridors became fully operational.
“Statistics have shown that women who drive are more cautious and careful. So we thought it wise to bring them on board as part of measures to reduce road crashes,” he argued.
Mr Gyamera advised the women to take the training seriously in order to come out successfully, adding that: “It is my fervent hope that you step out with confidence and become agents of change in society.”
The CEO of Scania Ghana, Mr Frederick Morsing, encouraged the prospective female drivers not to take chances but prove that they deserved the opportunity given to them.
The Head of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Ghana, Ms Verena Weisner, stated that the German government was pleased to partner Ghana to deliver the Female Driver Programme.