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news: Understanding access to transport in Ghana

ITP recently carried out focus groups in Ghana on behalf of The World Bank to explore how the poorest people in Kumasi and Tamale access transport and the transport-barriers they face to jobs and services. 

Yellow Yellows

Historically, the main forms of transport in Kumasi and Tamale has been bicycles and motorcycles. However, in recent years due to negative perceptions of bicycles and the high cost of owning and maintaining a motorbike, yellow-yellows have become more popular. Yellow-yellows are three-wheeler taxis and provide a cheap alternative to traditional taxis. In a city with few intra-city bus routes, they now make up the majority of vehicles on the road.

In terms of affordability, the yellow-yellows are governed by a union which sets their fares, and each one is associated with a specific station, which many people feel makes them safer to use. However, through the focus groups we found that many people on the lowest incomes still spend up to half of their money on transport and, as many informal jobs are unstable and unpredictable, some people are not able to make back the cost of their transport fares from that morning during a whole day's work. 

Ghana Focus Group

The focus groups also aimed to draw out intersections of poverty with other social aspects such as disability, women, older people and schoolchildren. Our analysis of both cities will lead us to make high-level recommendations for improving the transport systems in Ghana to work better for the poorest people.

If you'd like to work on similar projects to this one, we're currently looking for someone with 8+ years' experience to join our International Team. Click here to find out more about the role and how you can apply.


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