Securing a credit worth some USD 300 million from the World Bank (WB), a new transport improvement project dubbed “Ethiopian Transport System Improvement Project (TRANSIP)” has been officially launched on Thursday.
The project, according to both the WB and the Ethiopian government, is expected to modernize and create a well-managed transport system in the country. Kick-starting TRANSIP, Abdissa Yadeta, state minister of Transport said that in a country where there are as little as 708,000 vehicles (only registered amount) and out of which some 426,000 are driven across the streets of the capital, there have deaths, injuries and property damages for years. According to the state minister, out of 100,000 individuals 64 are losing their lives due to vehicle accidents in the country.
Lack of parking space, lack of efficient traffic control and management, abscess of proper bus and taxi terminals and the like have contributed for long congestions on top of high-level of accidents and carbon emissions. This has placed the country among the worst listed in road traffic accidents and the government have sought to have solicit to modernize transport systems with special emphasis on urban areas. Hence, pulling much of the funds WB availed, Addis Ababa will be able to have new arrangements and digitalized vehicle and drivers’ licensing systems in place.
Kassahun Hailemariam, director general of the Ethiopian Transport Authority told The Reporter that as part of the newly designed systems is the construction of five major corridors, suitable for pedestrians. According to Kassahun, it is very difficult for pedestrians to walk at least one kilometer freely and safely.
The new project, among many others, seeks to establish a central control center. In addition to that, TRANSIP will further modernize public transport systems. The long serving Anbessa City Bus Transport Enterprise will have a digitalized ticketing, depots and management approaches. Both privately and publicly run mass public transport services, mainly buses will be enabled to utilize unilateral e-tickets which will be accessible at any of the buses. The vehicles and drivers’ licensing will be centrally managed electronically. Doing all that will be completed in the coming seven years, Kassahun said. [reporters]