The rapidly swelling demand for access to transportation has pushed the city to look for additional alternatives giving rise to a EUR 130 million Bus Rapid Transit Corridor (BRT) project under way to be operational in the coming three years, The Reporter has learnt.
According to Tewodros Tsegaye, BRT Project Management Unit Head with City’s Transport Programs Management Office, the detail of the project design for BRT project will be finalized within three months and four major bids will be finalized in ten months to proceed with constructions and possibly set operations by the end of 2021. In addition to launching procurement bids for contractors, Tewodros said that procurements of smart transport systems (e-tickets included) and purchase of buses are also scheduled.
The project unit head also said that back in 2016, following the loan and grant agreement between the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Ethiopian government; the project was signed for EUR 85 million. The remaining amount will be footed by Addis Ababa city Administration. However, a project set to be operational by mid-2018 required further revisions. Safege SAS, a French consulting firm, has mostly contributed to the delays of the project. Back in 2016, Safege SAS teamed up with local and British firms and signed a 64.7 million birr with the Addis Ababa City Roads Authority. The consulting agreement included design and construction supervisions for the BRT.
The project referred as “BRT- B2 Corridor” will drive through five sub-cities where nearly 40 percent of dwellers reside could mean an additional mass transport service that could introduce smart systems to the ever growing gap in public transport accessibility in Addis Ababa, according to Tewodros.
The BRT corridor project complements the existing light Rail System (LRT) in Addis and is set to cover 17.3 km all the way from Wingate – Pasteur – Autobiss Tera –Teklehaimanot – Mexico – Kera – Jemo and includes 23 stations along the corridor. Tewodros added that there are 15 potential BRT corridors identified for future considerations.
BRT will feature similar services to the LRT system; it is more reliable, convenient and faster compared to regular bus services and it will be subsidized by the city government, Tewodros explained.
When operational, the BRT corridor will have five essential services. Out of the five, “the two services will be within the corridor and will be delivered by 18m long and low-floor buses. Three services with fleet of 12m long, low-floor buses will partially be branched out of the corridors to provide direct services. In total there will be 157 buses based on the operational plan note of the corridor,” Tewodros said.