37 to Kawkudi trotro route

Accra trotro routes – how trotro operators run the roads

Accra trotro routes are mapped out by operators strategically. There are several ways drivers and unions run the routes.

1. Union approved routes

For Accra trotro routes originated by the unions, roads or streets that traverse points with dense population – static or transient – are chosen as originating and destination points. The union is assured of outbound and inbound passengers. Sometimes the end points of some union routes are not populous but there are waypoints that are busy enough to guarantee sales. These official Accra trotro routes are the basis for calculation of official trotro prices. These official routes form 60% of all routes plied by trotro buses in the city of Accra.

2. Adhoc routes

Then there are informal routes created by drivers and conductors. These Accra trotro routes capitalize on events, time of day and points of interest. So on a soccer match day, trotro buses will ply Circle to Stadium through Parliament house.

Trotro operators reroute stadium trip for maximum laden

3. Driver unilateral routing

These Accra trotro routes are informal. For example, in the morning rush hour, trotro buses will go residence to office routes, residence to market routes or residence to school routes. Special attention is given to routes that have lots of waypoints because more stops means higher passenger turnover for more profits. For example the Abeka Lapaz to Accra trotro route may charge 3 ghs for the trip. So if a passenger pays the terminal fare of 3 ghs and alights midway, and another takes the seat to reach the destination, the new entrant pays 2 ghs which is 60% of the fare. So for a single seat and for the same distance, the driver makes 5 ghs instead of 3 ghs if there is a passenger turnover. By midday, the operators will switch to inner city routes to ferry passengers across short distances. In the evening, they revert to residence based routes. Points of interest also provide justification for routes which explains why the siting of a medical facility transformed the original Baatsona Accra trotro route into Rasta LEKMA route.

LEKMA bypass results from location of landmark

4. Passenger evolution routes

Some Accra trotro routes are also instanced by passengers. Demographic and social dynamics can systematically reroute a trotro trip. A popular media facility, Radio Gold, moved the Sabon Zongo Solo route further west by encircling Sukura.

5. Shadowing

The conductor on the trotro bus colloquially referred to as a “mate” serves as a scout for the driver of the bus. As the bus goes upcity, the mate observes how laden the oncoming buses are. Full capacity vehicles are indications that there are enough passengers on the return trip. If the approaching buses are empty, it indicates a sparse or low patronage along the reverse route. Then the driver decides against a full run and turns to look for a profitable route.

6. Condition of roads

An Accra trotro route may be quite lucrative but once the road deteriorates, it discourages the buses from plying. In such situations, the operators will commute to the fringes of the bad road and return.

7. Traffic jams

Excessive traffic jams waste both fuel and time. Roads with slow vehicular movements are generally avoided unless the jam is in close proximity to a trotro station where it becomes unavoidable.

8. Density of trotro buses competing a route

Both the trotro driver and the conductor keenly note the number of buses ahead of and bypassing them. If they figure out that the vehicles are tripping the same destinations as they are, they will change the route because several buses ahead mean the lead buses will pick up all the passengers.

9. Condition of the trotro bus

Old buses choose their Accra trotro routes carefully. They avoid challenging terrains such as bumpy roads, hills, meandering streets or routes with many stops.

10. Residence of trotro driver

The starting and closing route for each day are the roads and streets that adjoin or lead to the driver’s residence. In the evenings, they will mandatory commute the residence route even if there are no passengers along the way.

11. Owner residence

In the cases where the owner of the trotro bus is not the driver, the route that leads to the residence of the owner or the authorized parking point will be the terminal route for the trotro bus.

12. Motor car regulation enforcement

Drivers find out about state of enforcement on the routes. Routes with lots of city transport officials are avoided.

Routes that have few bus stops tend to be in the inner city whilst the ones with numerous lines run the outskirts of the city.

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