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Blue Minibuses will serve the outskirsts of Addis
Five Addis Ababa Taxi Associations formed a transport share company to provide city bus service on the main roads of the city.
The share company has to outlay 30 percent of the vehicle’s cost and the remaining 70 percent will be covered with government loan that is repayable in five years. Each bus is worth between 1.5 million and 4 million birr.
The move is one of the options to curb the acute transportation problem as well to reduce traffic congestion.
The share company, called Misrak Chorra is formed by Zebra, Adiss Hiwot, Tsehaye, Nesser and Belen Taxi Associations, is trying to convince eight taxi associations that refrain to join in the share company.
Zerihuin Desalgne, CEO of the share company, told Capital that the buses will fit the city’s standard and have features of on board ticket vending machine. “The government and the share company agreed to import the buses free of tax and the government promised to give us 70 percent of the cost in loan.” “We will import 150 buses soon but before that we need to convince many taxi owners to join the new company” he added.
Currently, more than 20,000 taxis are working in Addis Ababa. The government intends to relocate the minivan taxis to the outskirts of Addis.
Some taxi owners expressed their fear that the bus taxis will wipe out many jobs. One taxi owner who claimed anonymity said, “We have to look the big picture. When we add together the driver, the assistant and the owner, city taxi business is a source of income for more than 60,000 people. Allowing the bus into the business is equal to snatching these people off their bread.’’
The Addis Ababa City Roads and Transport Bureau said the minivan taxis are not large enough to accommodate the big passenger load. Neither could they reduce the transport problem and traffic congestion. Therefore, shifting to use bigger buses is a better solution.
Genet Dibaba, the bureau Communication Head said, “the main target of any transport service is to provide a fast service to the public.” She further said that the long lines of people at transport terminals and the high traffic congestion will be better handled with larger seat capacity cars.