Trotro meaning derives from a disused currency which was one time in circulation in Ghana. This unit of currency called “tro” was of a low value comparable in significance to a few cents in the USA.
During the era of the tro, private commercial passenger transport also emerged in Ghana. The buses that formed the bulk of this mode of commuter service were low cost buses or retrofitted vans. The operators charged very low fares as they primarily serviced poor commuters.
The fares so charged were the least denomination of the currency called the “tro”. So the appellation “trotro” evolved.
Today, trotro does mean a low charging transport service. Truly, buses now charge higher than the least unit of currency but the reference still remains because the fares are relatively cheap.