Accra Cycle Share & Tour claims to be the first of its kind to introduce a cycle, share and tourism experience to Accra.
Established in June 2018, the concept came out of a desire to get visitors seeing as much of Accra as possible in an efficient and ‘green’ way.
If you’ve been to Accra, you’ll know the main roads (like in any other major city) can get clogged with vehicles and polluted with traffic fumes. It also doesn’t help that Accra was recently named as one of the most polluted cities in the world, according to a list published by Numbeo.com, a website that tracks the pollution status of 290 cities across the globe.
“Accra Cycle Share & Tour is the most practical way possible of touring the city on a bicycle and having enough time to discover all you can with no rush at all,” said its Founder Mark Boadi.
Visitors are kitted out with the appropriate helmets and high visibility jackets at a retail outlet called The Shop, which he part owns, and get a tour of the city by bike.
Tourists convene on a Sunday morning, when Accra’s roads have a bit of a breather while most of the city’s population is at church. Between 10am and 4pm, visitors tour the streets seeing popular sights such as Black Star Square (officially known as Independence Square), the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Museum as well as more contemporary landmarks such as the Jamestown Cafe.
Tours are tailored to the pace of the groups so tourists can do as much or as little as they want during the day. As with most countries, the inhabitants of any city are not always the ones to know the most about their city and Accra is no exception. According to Mark, tourists tend to be from outside Ghana where there is already a culture of sightseeing and touring the city on a bike.
Mark’s plan is not just to offer an alternative form of tourism in the city but also to encourage more of a cycling culture in Accra.
Those familiar with the north of Ghana know that cycling is a popular and convenient way of getting around the villages and towns. And although bikes are readily sold in Accra, the culture leans more towards owning your own car, public transport and/or private taxis.
“Our ultimate goal at Accra Cycle Share & Tour and The Shop Is to create an alternative transportation system,” said Mark.
“Like any other bike shares around the world, we want people to easily access bicycles across the city for short or possibly long distance trips in particularly selected geographical areas initially, and then possibly on university and college campuses in Accra.”
“Our second goal is to use the bike share concept to advocate for cycling lanes across the city. Our aim is to increase the transportation options for people travelling from A to B, reduce road congestion and the impact this has on air quality in the city.”
He is also in early talks with Kwabena Danso founder of Booomers – the bamboo bike company based in Yonso, Ashanti Region, Ghana – to forge a partnership.
Mark hopes that as part of the plan he will be able to connect with other bike operators across the country who also have a common goal of establishing cycling lanes.
If you want to learn more about Accra Cycle Share, connect with the company on Instagram @accracycleshare_gh