Yorgos Voukas, M.Sc. – Senior Consultant, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), UK,
Derek Palmer, MSoc -Head of Sustainable Transport Planning, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), UK
Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia, is currently facing rapid urbanization and high population growth. Overall population is expected to grow from 3.2 million to 5.5 million inhabitants by 2020 and reach double figures within the next two decades. Car ownership is still significantly low in Addis Ababa, though rapidly increasing mainly due to economic growth and the introduction of low cost private vehicles into the local market. Non-motorised transport, and particularly walking, still dominates the modal split for daily trips in Addis Ababa with an approximate 62% of total trips, whereas public transport service is not adequate to accommodate the respective demand.
As a response, the city government of Addis Ababa has recently adopted a city-wide transport plan in order to modernize public transport, support the use of non-motorized transport and tackle the congestion that is generated from the increasing use of private vehicles. The current transport plan includes the construction of seven BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) and two LRT (Light Rail Transport) corridors, as well as improvements in pedestrian facilities, non-motorized transport and parking management. This paper attempts an evaluation of the BRT demonstration corridor (Meskel square to Kaliti) in order to provide recommendations towards a full BRT implementation and set an example of BRT design that can be used as a reference for the future BRT systems in Ethiopia and East Africa. The evaluation takes into consideration aspects such as BRT infrastructure, accessibility, road safety, operational efficiency, traffic and parking management, and integration of non-motorized transport features.