Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















FAST TRACK
Light rail fails to fix Ethiopia's traffic troubles
By Chris STEIN
Addis Ababa (AFP) March 12, 2017


Electric light railway tracks soar over Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, a rare example of mass transit infrastructure on a continent ruled by ramshackle, diesel-spewing buses.

But despite government promises, the roads below are still clogged with traffic 14 months after the light rail system's opening, and for many residents the city's network of overcrowded minibus taxis remain the only option.

"It's better than nothing," said retiree Zerayakob Assefa, dismissing the half a billion dollar investment with a shrug as he waited for a train to the city's eastern suburbs. When one did arrive, 15 minutes later, it was so packed he could not board.

"I will never get on it again!" said one exasperated passenger as she squeezed from the jammed car.

Opened in September 2015, the light rail was supposed to ease traffic in the capital of Africa's second most populous country. It is the first system of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, and has caught the attention of other cities such as Lagos and Nairobi which are planning their own traffic-reducing tramways.

Ethiopian officials have touted the two-line, 34-kilometre system as a sign of the dividends the country's rapid economic growth is paying to its people.

One of the continent's best-performing economies, Ethiopia grew by nearly 10 percent in 2015, according to the World Bank.

- Excitement fades -

But growth is expected to slow due to a drought and a recent series of anti-government demonstrations that have targeted foreign businesses.

That has not stopped Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's administration from ploughing money into Chinese-built infrastructure projects including dams, airport terminals and highways.

The light railway was built by the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) at a cost of $475 million (447 million euros), 85 percent of which was covered by China's Export-Import Bank.

Excited commuters queued for hours to be the first to ride the tramway when it opened but now say it is not the transportation game-changer they had hoped for.

With ticket prices from $0.10 to $0.30, the train is comparable to the cost of a bus ride but the light rail is overcrowded and the network reaches only certain neighbourhoods, commuters said.

Many in the city of four million are left with no choice but to rely on the "blue donkeys", as Addis Ababa's cramped minibuses are known.

"They are full inside," electronics salesman Andulam Alemu said of the light rail as he waited in a queue to board a minibus in the Kazanchis neighbourhood. "Still there is the problem of transport."

Some even blamed the light railway for increasing traffic.

While the tracks are elevated in parts of town, in others they cut between and through lanes of traffic, leaving thoroughfares snarled with cars, complained minibus driver Amin Ansar.

"Even in the places where the rails are located, it's made traffic worse, because you can't cross to the other side," Ansar said.

- No quick fix -

Awoke Mulu, a spokesman for the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit Service, said the trains have already carried 50 million passengers and made a "positive impact" on their commute but that the city's large and rapidly growing population makes the job difficult.

"We cannot say we are eliminating the transport problem, because the number of people in the city is increasing," Mulu said.

Wear and tear is also taking its toll with around a third of the 41 light rail cars out of action and undergoing repairs, exacerbating delays and overcrowding.

Elias Kassa, a professor of railway science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said planners had failed to integrate the new light rail with the pre-existing bus system.

Whether rail or bus, commuters have to walk long distances and scramble across busy roads to catch public transport, a flaw Kassa warned could ultimately undermine the network if not corrected.

Still, he called the system a good start for a growing city trying to keep up with its transport needs.

"The goal was to alleviate shortage of transport system, mainly for people of lower income," Kassa said. "If you think of that, I'd say it has obtained the goal, not fully, but to some extent."

FAST TRACK
Machine-learning to inspire Singapore metro buildout
Singapore (UPI) Jan 25, 2017
Researchers are trying to distill smart transit philosophy into a machine-learning algorithm. Scientists hope their smart transit model will reveal a recipe for a smarter city, organized in way that relieves the congestion common on the mass transit systems of major cities. "Singapore needs an efficient transport system to support people's activities given the existing and planned infra ... read more

Related Links
Great Train Journey's of the 21st Century

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

FAST TRACK
India has capability to develop space station, says top official

Orion spacecraft achieves key safety milestone

The NASA Imager Dentists Use Daily

Marshall shakes, packs, ships and tracks NASA payloads

FAST TRACK
Elon Musk: tech dreamer reaching for sun, moon and stars

ULA launches NROL-79 payload for NRO

SpaceX says it will fly civilians to the moon next year

Moon tourists risk rough ride, experts say

FAST TRACK
Humans May Quickly Evolve on Mars, Biologist Claims

NASA Orbiter Steers Clear of Mars Moon Phobos

Remnants of a mega-flood on Mars

Science checkout continues for ExoMars orbiter

FAST TRACK
Riding an asteroid: China's next space goal

Thinking Big: China Hopes to Conduct 2nd Mission to Mars by 2030

China to Conduct Test Flight of CZ-8 Carrier Rocket by 2018

China to launch first high-throughput communications satellite in April

FAST TRACK
Iridium Safety Voice Communications Installs Surge Past 500 Aircraft

OneWeb, Intelsat merge to advance satellite internet

Turkey Moves Closer to Launching Own Space Agency

GomSpace to supply satellites for Sky and Space Global constellation

FAST TRACK
Understanding what's happening inside liquid droplets

3-D printing with plants

Researchers remotely control sequence in which 2-D sheets fold into 3-D structures

Aireon and Thales Begin Validation of Space-Based ADS-B Data

FAST TRACK
Hunting for giant planet analogs in our own backyard

Faraway Planet Systems Are Shaped Like the Solar System

Biochemical 'fossil' shows how life may have emerged without phosphate

The missing link in how planets form

FAST TRACK
Juno to remain in current orbit at Jupiter

Europa Flyby Mission Moves into Design Phase

NASA receives science report on Europa lander concept

New Horizons Refines Course for Next Flyby




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement