A total of USD 60 million is required to repair over 23 trains of the Addis Ababa Light Rail, officials say. A lack of spare components has brought the operations of 23 trains to a stop, according to Ethiopia-based news publication The Reporter.
Notably, the Addis Ababa Light Rail in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is the first light rail and rapid transit in eastern and sub-Saharan Africa.
Going in two directions, the light rail was built to make up for the lack of transportation in the capital, which is home to four million people, according to The Reporter. The funding for the 31.6-kilometre-long electrified light rail transportation system was provided by the Chinese Exim Bank.
It was inaugurated 8 years ago with the goal of serving 60,000 people per hour.
The system's east-west line is 17.4 kilometres long, and the north-south line is 16.9 kilometres long. It was built by the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Company (CREEC). According to The Reporter, officials 'dragged their feet for years' before finally acknowledging that the project did not proceed according to plan, despite the fact that a performance assessment conducted by the Federal Auditor General showed that the majority of the wagons are inactive.
Mitku Asmare, the head of the Addis Ababa Transport Bureau, in an interview with The Reporter, admitted that 23 of the light rail system's 40 trains are currently inoperable due to a lack of spare parts. The administration of the light rail system has recently been transferred to his Bureau.
"Our assessment shows USD 60 million is needed for spare parts," Mitku said, as quoted by The Reporter.
A subsidy of one billion Ethiopian Birr was provided by the Addis Ababa City Administration for the operation of the light rail since the revenue generated from the sale of tickets is not enough to pay its monthly operating costs.
Currently, the light rail transports 56,000 people with just 18 trains, but if all of the trains were functioning, it could transport more than double that number, according to The Reporter.
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