Trotro Diaries [TTD]: Accra-based Facebook public bus with global routes [1]

There are thousands if not millions of pages on social media platform Facebook, the world’s largest platform to connect. Different causes and ideologies have birthed these pages.

A state of affairs that ties in Facebook’s mantra of uniting people and communities. Interactions differ from ideals and goals of each page. Some pages full of life, others not necessarily – what is clear is each sticking to the reasons for which they were formed.

Be it for information purposes, religious, social, economic, political, sport, entertainment etc. The plethora of pages on Facebook very much matches the different kind of people signed up in the ‘book.’

One such page which users have testified is a vibrant sphere all day every day is the commercial bus with 289,000 plus passengers – TroTro Diaries (TTD). Birthed seven years back, there clearly is loads of spaces to be filled in the diary.

On the platform which is closed (i.e. members must be accepted) by the administrator to participate, people share mostly photos of their commute experiences and other funny incidents, others write out their observations and encounters on a range of issues.

“Trotro” is a local terminology for commercial buses that transport people and goods across Ghana and much of Africa. Most of them are privately-owned and have often served as a hub for discussions as people from different walks of life join trotros to shuttle them from place to place daily.

With TTD, there is an added advantage once you get on board. The bus may be based in Accra, capital of Ghana, but its trips cut across continents, Cairo to Cape, Mumbai to Missisipi, Buenos Aires to Bombay and Moscow to Muscat, you get to hear of an see places around the world, whiles sharing your experiences too.

Bibini Innovations Ltd, who are behind TTD describe it as a “startup that is connecting commuters, drivers and other transport stakeholders across Africa. Content shared include commuting experiences, directions, road accident reports.

“The dream is to use our platform to improve public transport experience especially in Africa. We currently run projects on road safety and sanitation.”

In the second part of this piece we look at how TTD members get to interact beyond Facebook – the TTD app and get-togethers.


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