High maintenance cost, illegal drivers hamper the transport sector


The sever shortage of public transport in Addis Ababa, lack of coordination between responsible government bodies and transport sector stakeholders as well as lack of legal and qualified drivers, were some of the issues that were highlighted at a discussion session by the Ministry of transport on Thursday June 25 at Ghion Hotel.

During the discussion session that was attended by Workneh Gebeyehu, Minister of Transport, representatives of different transport associations and investors in the sector underlined that one of the main problems the Transport Ministry should focus on is appropriate tariff setting that puts into consideration the rising cost of spare parts. Some suggested that the current tariff, especially in cross country transport providers is too low and it was previously suggested that the matter would be reviewed by the Transport Ministry but nothing has been done yet.
According to the Ministry’s report, putting into consideration the rising cost of spare parts for vehicles, a study for new tariff has been carried out however transport companies still operate with the tariff that was set almost three years ago.
Lack of legal and experienced drivers in the transport sector has also been highlighted as one of the major challenges. According to the Ministry’s report, legal measures have been taken against 26 driving schools in different regions during this budget year.
Several measures are also being taken against drivers in possession of illegal driving licenses and so far 360 licenses have been confiscated.
Rules state that transport service providing companies and associations need to check if drivers have the appropriate license before hiring. But this has not been possible because the sector is already short of drivers, so companies resort to hiring without checking if the drivers have enough qualification and the necessary documents.
The ministry also announced its plan to open 10 additional ticket offices in Addis Ababa to alleviate congestion in existing ticket offices. It will also conduct a study on the prospect of opening 28 new public transport routes. The ministry will continue to suppress illegal public transportation services as well as rent-seeking transit station ushers.