Trotro, a lifesaver, a moving conference room, a parliament house, a place for sampling ideas and the state of the economy.

What is Trotro?

In Ghana, trotro is a popular name given to a fixed route commercial bus mainly privately owned. The term trotro originates from the Ga language meaning “nothing”. It was mainly for folks on a low budget. Trotros ply a fixed route with designated boarding and unboarding spots.

How thus Trotro Operate?

Trotros are run mainly by the bus driver; ably assisted by a bus conductor who doubles as a chief accountant popularly referred to as ‘mate’. Unfortunately, instead of picking up passengers at the rightfully designated bus stops,  most trotro drivers recklessly park on the shoulder of roads to do so. Ironically, the opposite is true. Should a passenger decide to alight at a destination with no bus stop, both bus drivers and mates are sheepishly hesitant. The mate is the regulator of stoppages and collection of transport fares. Transport fares in between routes are priced at the discretion of the mate.

Is Trotro Regulated by the Government?

The trotro is a self-regulated business. They are not licensed or regulated by the government but mostly operate under the umbrella of transport unions that negotiates a fair increment of fares any time there’s a significant increment in fuel prices.

Is Trotro the only means of transport in Ghana?

Conditions in the trotro are not rosy. These vary from uncomfortable seats to uninhabitable scents from the armpit of mates to bad odors. There are few occasions where people fart, and the whole trip comes into a condominium. This sometimes either brings a moment of silence or heated arguments. People don’t choose to sit in trotro because they want to enjoy rides, but simply patronize their services just to get to their destinations.

What do I need  to know before patronizing Trotro?

The first rule you should know when sitting in a trotro is not to offend the mate, especially if you don’t know where you are going. If you dare engage the mate or any passenger in an argument you will end up at the wrong destination. The second rule is to make sure you have singles or else you’d have to follow the mate to the station to collect your change. Politics and relationship issues are among popular topics discussed in the vehicle, especially during news hours when the radio is on. There’s never a dull moment in a trotro.

Is Trotro Economical ?

Patronizing this kind of service is very economical but the downside is that trotro is fond of intermittent stops which sometimes can be very annoying especially when you are in a hurry. So if you are late to an event or have to attend to an urgent situation, then please avoid trotro at all cost, or better still set out early if you are on a low budget.

Oh lest I forget, the best herbal medicine marketers are found only in trotros. If you have been searching for the ultimate medicine which cures all diseases in this world, just join a trotro. You are sure to find what you want.

If you are a writer, an analyst, or a researcher, I strongly advise you to ditch your private car once in a while and join a trotro.


Written by Sylvester Dordzi

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