The first bus rapid transit (BRT) line in east Africa is to be built in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The city’s Road and Transport Bureau signed an agreement last week with three contractors for the design work and construction of the BRT line. The design work West to South route which stretches 16 km will be undertaken at a cost of US$3.04 million, while US$95 million will be spent for the construction of the road scheduled to be completed within 26 months. The bureau inked the agreement with the French company, SAFEGE SA, and two local contractors.
Based on Addis Ababa’s Master Plan, seven bus rapid transit lines will be built until 2030, said engineer Fekade Azeze, General Manager of Addis Ababa Roads Authority. According to him, Ethiopia will be the first East African country to have BRT service. Ethiopia has secured a multi-million loan last April from the French Development Institute for the project.
The project will transform Addis Ababa’s transportation system as well as help to offer sustainable, modern and integrated transportation service in the metropolis. The buses will be equipped with the state of the art technology and are computer-assisted, it was noted. The rapid buses will arrive at stations every 2-3 minutes and commuters need to wait for only 4-5 minutes.