Saturday, June 10, 2023
BusinessFixing Addis light rail may cost at least $60 million

Fixing Addis light rail may cost at least $60 million

Lack of spare components has idled 23 trains

About USD 60 million is required to repair over 23 trains of the Addis Ababa Light Rail, officials said.

The light rail, which goes in two directions, was built to make up for the lack of transportation in the capital, which is home to four million people and sees two million more come and go every day.

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The Chinese Exim Bank provided the funding for the 31.6-kilometer-long electrified light rail transportation system, which was inaugurated eight years ago with the goal of serving 60,000 people per hour. The east-west line of the system is 17.4 kilometers long, and the north-south line is 16.9 kilometers long. The China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Company (CREEC) built it.

Officials dragged their feet for years before finally acknowledging that the project did not proceed according to plan, despite the fact that a performance assessment conducted by the Federal Auditor General showed that the majority of the wagons are inactive.

In an interview with The Reporter, Mitku Asmare, the head of the Addis Ababa Transport Bureau, admitted that 23 of the light rail system’s 40 trains are currently inoperable due to a lack of spare parts. The administration of the light rail system has recently been transferred to his Bureau.

“Our assessment shows USD 60 million is needed for spare parts,” Mitku said.

The Addis Ababa City Administration has provided a subsidy of one billion birr for the operation of the light rail since the revenue generated from the sale of tickets is not enough to pay its monthly operating costs. Today, the light rail transports 56,000 people each and every day with just 18 trains, but if all of the trains were functioning, it could transport more than double that number.

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