However, there are concerns about safety, comfort and reliability on buses of the public transporter, attracting complaints from patrons.
My experience travelling to Bunkpurugu in the Northern Region with a Metro Mass Transit bus is a story of the difficulties I went through.
“Metro mass is better because of its size. At least, it is better than smaller vehicles plying the Tamale Bunkpurugu road,” one of the friends I made on the bus told me.
This is the main reason commuters to and from Bunkprugu and other communities in the Bunkprugu-Yunyoo District prefer the Metro Mass Transit service bus to other commercial vehicles.
Safety and comfort have become subjects for concern and scrutiny by passengers.
“I have experienced a lot of pains between my legs and waists,” a frustrated passenger who had been standing for hours because he could not find a set tells me.
Paul Kambia another passenger also tells me “when I came and the vehicle was already full, I was asked if I could stand so I stood from Tamale to Bunkpurugu,”
It is 3:00 p.m. at the Metro Mass terminal in Tamale. I’m joining tens of other passengers on a trip to the Bunkpurugu- Yunyoo District.
Just 30 minutes into the journey, the bus broke down as a result of a mechanical fault, leaving passengers stranded.
I was a bit worried the packed bus may not be able to continue the journey, but to my utter amazement, it was fixed and we carried on with the journey.
A frequent patron of the Metro Mass bus told me after noticing my surprise at the miracle the bus conductor and his assistant performed to repair the bus is quite common.
He told me sometimes passengers have had to wait for hours in the middle of a journey for a broken down bus to be fixed to enable them to continue.
“Sometimes, we have to look for another vehicle to continue our journey,” another passenger eavesdropping on my conversation with the regular Metro Mass bus patrol told me.
When the Metro Mass Transit Service Limited was introduced by the Kufour administration in 2003, expectation was high about safe, affordable, efficient and reliable public transport system for Ghanaians.
While some progress has been made, bringing relief to people in cities, towns and villages, there are certainly challenges always associated with public commercial transport.
Sometimes non-availability of buses force Metro Mass Transit drivers to cram passengers into a bus.
At the Bunkpurugu Station in Tamale, passengers usually scramble for space on the only available bus that leaves at 2 p.m. each day.
The poor passengers do not have a choice but endure the discomfort that comes with standing for long hours or siting on a chair but cannot turn your head.
There is no better alternative, and they can only hope for change, sooner or later.