Switching from Autobus Terra saves space, reduces travel time
If you plan to travel by bus to the North from now on you’ll need to go to a new bus station. The Federal Transport Authority (FTA) opened a bus station located in Lamberet on February 08. It will host large, medium and small buses that travel the northern route, according to Abelneh Agedew, head of promotions and public relations at the FTA.
Construction for the bus station started during the Derg regime Abelneh continued. However, it was interrupted during the shift in power. The project was taken up by the Addis Ababa City Road and Transport Bureau in 2005. Now the FTA will formally take control of the station’s activities from the Bureau, said Abelneh.
The north-bound vehicles which previously were housed at Merkato in what is locally known as Autobus Tera made the move to Lamberet before February 07. The FTA had posted advertisements on the state owned Ethiopia Television announcing the change of location. The Autobus Tera station had also informed regular passengers of the change via its mini-media and printouts posted at its gates.
On February 08, the first five large buses started their journeys from the new station for the first time, according to Abelneh.
“What makes this new station special is that it has a building specifically designed for the use of transport associations as well as an office for the sub-city’s police force,” said Abelneh. “There are 32 passenger transport associations with station offices. Nineteen of them are large bus associations while the rest are small and medium car associations.”
There are ticket offices located at the entrance to the station for all 49 northern destinations among them Wollo and Adigrat. They are color coded according to the car’s capacity level so that passengers who can’t read know which tickets to buy. Level 1 ticket booths are colored green, while level 2 and 3 are painted blue and yellow respectively.
Passengers are only allowed to enter the station after they have bought a ticket. Trolleys are also provided for those with luggage. The station’s personnel help passengers to move their luggage to a weighing area where their belongings are measured. If a passenger’s luggage weighs more than 25kg they will have to pay a fee for it depending on the length of the journey.
Parking was one of the biggest problems solved for the drivers due to the move. The new location can park 60 large buses at the same time on its upper level. The lower level is relegated for the use of medium and small buses.
“Formerly, the buses would sometimes have to wait up tofour hours to board their passengers and get out of the station,” said Abelneh. “Then they would spend almost two hours to get beyond the city limits. The new station is much closer starting point for the drivers.”
While large buses can travel for an unlimited distance within the country’s borders, medium and small buses are allowed to travel only 250km and 150km respectively, according to data from the FTA.
As of the previous fiscal year there are 1,028 large passenger buses that travel cross country. According to the Authority’s 6-month report, approximately 21.83 million passengers travelled across regions