Trotros, Economy & Choices

Ever since I started posting about real life situations in trotros in Ghana, you won’t believe the number of people who have advised me to stop using trotros. I’ve been asked unbelievable questions like:

  1. “So when are you going to start taking taxis?”

For Your Information, I use taxis and Ubers a lot. Probably more than I use trotros. I use them for short distances, when I’m in a hurry and not sure of the place I’m going to; because Accra taxi drivers know every nook and cranny.  Don’t even talk about Ubers. Everybody knows they have advantages and disadvantages. I’ll leave you to be the judge of that.

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  1. When are you going to buy your own car?

Ok. I don’t have a car, shoot me! Would I want to get one? Sure I do. I need one, I can’t afford it so what should I do? Take a loan to buy one and spend some more money on fuel and maintenance? I cannot maintain that kind of lifestyle now. Maybe someday I will. I am working towards that but I will not let anybody’s pressure control my life. So yes, for now, I’ll do trotros. I’ll do taxis and Ubers when I need to.

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  1. Aren’t you ashamed of always posting about trotros? Trotros are for poor and broke people.

I actually do not blame you for asking such a question or entertaining such an opinion.

Let me clear the air. There are too many misconceptions about trotros in Ghana; far too many. Fine, I admit there is a lot of wahala associated with trotros. I mean leaking roofs, rude mates, quarrelsome women, reckless driving, smoking engines, smelly cars ….  The list goes on and on and on. I agree, there are so many things wrong. But I don’t think the problem lies with trotros per say; I think the real problem lies with the transport system here in Ghana.

I’m told that in the olden days, buses had numbers and arrived at a particular time and particular place every day. So for instance, if I was going to Dansoman from Dzorwulu, I could pick say the 3:15 at the bus station or bus stop and I was assured that at the said time, the bus would be there.

Those must have been the good old days because I remember no such thing ever happening in my lifetime. Perhaps we would have been more cultured and time conscious if this was still happening. Here’s a funny story:  So here I am at a train station in Johannesburg to take a train from Sandton to Braamfontein.

The train arrives on schedule and just as I’m about to get aboard, I meet this guy I had met on the plane on my way to Joburg from Giyani. He recognised me and said hi and I stopped for about 5 seconds to respond to that hi. And before I could say “jack”, that train I had been waiting for, for the past 15 minutes was gone. Gone oo. I had to wait another 15 minutes for the next train to come. I imagine that was how Ghana used to be all those years ago. So what went wrong?

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Conclusion of the matter

I don’t think people would have had issues with the trotro if our system was better. A lot of people who drive big SUVs still opt for economy class when flying. What is the difference between economy class and trotro? One is airborne, the other is traffic bound, that’s all but it’s basically the same principle: it’s the cheapest option for getting to your destination. I understand some people cannot afford to fly economy or travel by trotro by virtue of their status. But bottom line is, it’s a just a matter of choice.

Simple and short!

If the system was better, I believe people would save money and reduce traffic by parking their cars at home and going to work via public transport.


Trotros Post By Baaba Ennin

Other Posts by Baaba

Accra Stay By Plan

Spoken Word: Christmas ….Christ Means Absolute Salvation

Dansoman Taxi Chronicles: Are We There Yet?

Ghana Trotro: The Lone Sojourner

Choices And A Million Voices

Ennin Baaba trotros

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