The Addis Ababa City Administration extended a lease contract for buses by 90 more days. Hired to support the city’s transport, the extended service by the buses would cost more than 150 million birr.
Communication Head of the Addis Ababa City Transport Bureau, Aregawi Maru, told The Reporter that the rationale behind extending the contract by another 90 days, starting this week, was the actual contribution of the buses in alleviating the transport problems in the city.
The use of GPS technology in the buses is said to have resulted in more efficient dispatch. By directing one or more nearby buses to other locations, the system helped address transport problems better and contribute to better traffic flow, especially during rush hour.
Furthermore, Aregawi said that the delay in the purchase of 3,000 buses has also contributed to the contract extension.
Initially, the supporting buses were thought to stay operational for six months and the new buses were expected to be available starting from the New Year, which was a week ago.
The transport bureau had prepared the specifications for the purchase and made it available to the relevant body. But, according to the city’s procurement agency, the process has been delayed for various reasons.
Aregawi explained that with the aforementioned issues in consideration, the City Cabinet decided to extend the contract period of the buses for another 90 days, and speed up the bus procurement process.
Aregawi told The Reporter that even though the Administration wanted 560 buses to provide support, 500 have been giving support services since October 2020.
He recalled that the cost of the buses was divided into two parts. Under the contract made before May 17, 2020, 3,987 birr was paid per bus each day. However, considering the global oil price surge, the price has been adjusted to 4,394 birr per day starting from April 2021.
It was also stated that various activities are underway to transfer the Addis Ababa Light Railway Service to the Addis Ababa City Transport Bureau starting from September 2021.