What is the function of a bus shelter? Call it a bus stop if you may, but the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary says it is “a structure with a roof where people can stand while they are waiting for a bus.”
The basic purpose of a bus shelter is to provide cover for passengers from rain and wind. In addition, contemporary innovations and developments have added features that enable bus shelters provide passengers with comfort and protection from the scorching sun.
However, traders have taken over many bus shelters in Accra and transformed them into shops where they sit, display and trade their wares.
This new norm has often left passengers stranded as they wait for buses in the open or in extreme situations, virtually on the roads because the traders and their wares occupy the designated spots for them. They are simply exposed to all manner of dangers, including speeding vehicles.
Traders discomforting travellers in this manner acknowledged the illegality of their actions but they turned a blind eye. Local authorities have from time to time taken some drastic measures in an attempt to curb the illegality.
The traders claim the same authorities are happy to collect daily tolls of GHȼ1.00 from them, in that sense, legitimizing the illegality, thereby emboldening them to return each day to perpetuate the wrong.
MyJoyOnline’s photojournalist Joseph Mawuli Tibu captured the following scenes in parts of the capital: