• SmallBanner 01
  • SmallBanner 02
  • SmallBanner 03

Pricing Transport Services in Urban Ghana—The Politics and Socio-Spatial Conflicts Between Transport Operators and the State


Year published: 2022
Categories: Book Chapter
URL Link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-17327-1_13

Author / Authors:

  • Michael Poku-Boansi
  • Michael Osei Asibey


Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


Dominated by the private sector and several informal operators, the contours of urban transport operation and pricing in many African countries are shaped by complex socio-economic factors, political alliances and local actions. In most cases, national and local governments’ attempt to regulate urban transport operations and pricing has failed due to the emerging agencies of local associations of transport operators. This chapter explores the socio-political structures for operating and pricing public transportation services in urban Ghana. The chapter traces the emergence of transport operators’ associations and their interests, alliances and conflicts in shaping urban transport pricing. In doing this, the chapter examines the interaction of political and economic processes—the distribution of power and agencies among diverse groups and individuals in the determination of public transportation pricing in Ghana. Using Kumasi, Ghana’s fastest growing city, as its primary case, the study adopts qualitative data collection methods including: interview of transport operators’ associations, drivers, passengers, and officials of public transport regulation institutions. The chapter reveals a complex relationship between urban transport operation and pricing, shaped by the formation of various informal and semi-formal operators’ associations with common interest and values on the one hand; and government direct and indirect intervention on the other. The chapter recommends that actions are needed to create governance arrangements that foster co-production and reduce the tensions among the public sector actors on the one hand and the operators on the other hand.

Political economy,
Public transportation,
Informal institutions,


  • Book Chapter