In Accra, the main city transportation consists of tro-tros.Â These are small independently owned and operated 10-20 seat vans. A driver will have a certain route that he covers, and there are certain known stops where people wait.Â So, you as a passenger go to the stop and wait for a tro-tro for your destination.Â When they are full, the driver only stops when people need to get off.Â During busy times, the tro-tros run quite frequently.
They are rarely more than 50 cents to get from one side of town to the other. Granted, they are very old and frequently uncomfortable.
But compare this to urban public transportation in America.Â If there is no metro or tram, we use large buses.Â Instead of small vans that run often, we have buses that are plush and come infrequently.Â Usually run (or heavily subsidized) by the local govt., we always hear about how it is too expensive to run.Â In Palo Alto and Boston, the buses were often mostly empty.
Could more, small buses work in the US? Would this decrease waiting time and travel time (with less frequent stops)?Â Could each one be privately owned and driven?Â Would this make public transportation cheaper for the passenger and the taxpayer?Â Or would insurance and liability issues make this impossible?
Any public transportation experts out there want to explain it all to me?