ADDIS ABABA — THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD Newspaper 22 April 2016: Transport Programs Management Office (TPMO) announced that 50 Sheger express buses will debut the streets of Addis by the end of May. Overall, 300 buses are purchased and slated to begin operation in different phases.
Sheger Bus Division Head Goitom Hailu told journalists yesterday that the city will be getting up to 50 express buses, and will start to give services to commuters by the end of May in some chosen routes. Currently, technical committee is inspecting the buses as per the specification before they begin operation, while also doing all the institutional works like organizing bureaus and assigning necessary manpower.
Furthermore, Goitom indicated that the composition of the buses, like their size, will not be fitting to all parts of the city, so they won’t just enter the streets without doing surveying work which are being carried out along with Road Transport Authority. “So, at the end of May, we will commence operation on routes with the highest demand and fitting roads.”
TPMO General Manager Dr. Solomon Kidane for his part said that the express buses will give high speed service to commuters within the existing roads with slight twitching. To this end, he said, they will have long distance stations with more than 1 km distance between them and a ten minute waiting time between fares, which is aimed at boosting bus speed by reducing time wastage at bus stop. “For instance, Bole-Piassa route will only have two stops, literally making the pace of the buses almost comparable to own automobile.” The Office also has other pilot plans aimed at boosting bus speed, such as delineating lanes and early traffic signals for buses at key intersections.
Dr. Solomon also said that Sheger Bus is currently analyzing the number and data in order to start a school bus service at every sub-city in Addis through three type of vehicles. According to him, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is planned to be operational in 2018, with the detail design for the project slated to be completed in eight months and the construction to be launched next year.
Meanwhile, Addis Ababa Road and Transport Bureau held a Scoping workshop for BRT and Bus Service yesterday aimed at creating a platform to discuss and understand challenges involved in the implementation of new transport system in the city.
Bureau Head Yabebal Addis said that the platform will serve be instrumental in advancing a shared vision among key stakeholders for Sheger Bus.
He added that the workshop will help in identifying financial sources and future development of an integrated transport network, and assisting us in coming up with cost-effective solution to mass transit in Addis Ababa.
Experiences of other countries in implementing BRT systems, and navigating opportunity areas for further collaboration between Addis Ababa and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and its mobility initiative program would be considred at the two-day workshop.
BY ROBEL YOHANNES