During rush hours watch your bag. Amidst the rushing passengers may be thieves. Tuck your bag to your belly or chest.
Never run to accost a bus during rush hours. The driver may fail or refuse to stop. If the driver intends to ferry passengers to the requested destination, he will stop.
TAKING YOUR SEAT
Drivers dont wait for passengers to settle in their seats before they take off. Be on guard.
As you board the bus, watch the side step. They may be unstable or snap under a heavy person. Step in the middle section always because the sides could get rusted and collapse.
Whilst passing the aisle to take your seat, hold on to something for balance because the driver can move off without warning.
Watch before you sit. There may be oil on the seat. For safety, always wipe before you sit.
PAYING THE FARE
The fares are paid on board. Its collected in a front-back direction so the conductor yells” Front" meaning front seat passengers should hand out their fares. This call is a signal for rear passengers to hold out your money or take it out of your purse or wallet. Conductors are not amused at passengers who take long to pull out fares.
Hold out coins or low denominations. Conductors grumble at large notes especially when its morning and they are just making their first shuttle.
The conductor gives change according to notes handed to him for payment rather than by passenger ID. So listen out to hear your note mentioned, and then stretch your hand to receive your change. Change is from conductor to passenger in a daisy chain manner, the conductor using other commuters as intermediaries. Be prepared to pass someone’s change because its a convention.
If a conductor asks you to hold on for change, keep reminding him to the hearing of everyone else he disputes your claim.
Never refer to a stop by their official names. Few knows that. Refer to a landmark, popular restaurant, a popular personality, nickname or some other colloquial appellation. So Ako Adjei is Sankara, Swanzy arcade is Kingsway. Accra Central is UTC.
If a conductor does not announce your destination stop, alert him. The driver rigidly obeys the stop call prompt of the conductor.
You can board the trotro bus anywhere along the route provided it’s not too risky for the driver to stop or the incidence of arrest is low. But be careful if you are boarding at an unapproved stop because the driver may flee the Police and you could get injured. Conductors serve as scouts for the drivers during unauthorized stops. As soon as you hear “operation” just step back.
Do not be surprised if a driver refuses to stop so you alight at the very spot you boarded. Its one of the paradoxes of Accra trotro. Drivers will pick you at unauthorised spots but if you want to disembark at the same point, they would say they cant stop because its not an approved bus stop. This behavior stems from an unscrupulous few who disregard fairness, are self-centered and are indifferent to the convenience of others.
Mothers with children, pupils, elderly, traders with wares always have the priority with Accra trotro. Be prepared to relinquish your seat for passengers with cargo or luggage. its a convention. Luggae normally take the first row and you have to get up.
You may have to adjust position, switch seats, carry a baby or even hold-support the rim of a bowl.
You may be greeted 100 times before the bus stops. Each person who comes in may greet passengers on board. Greeting is cultural in Ghana. Excessive greeting is not wrong.
You can always tell the driver to switch the radio to a channel you want. If there is no objection from other commuters, they will oblige. To persuade the driver, just say you hear there is a situation on a certain channel. Ghanaians are great listeners. Radio alerts are very vital for commuters. But the channel requested must be in local language. English stations and secular music are a big no during early mornings. Ghana has a high religious fervor and its believed the day work well if it starts with God.
Ghanaians are generally liberal. Privacy and social boundaries are not very rigid. Someone may ask you about where you bought a shirt or bracelet. its very rude but answer politely. You can say it was a gift if you want to remain private. Its against culture to refuse to speak.