Ethiopia: Metec Supplies City Transporter With 50 Buses

Buses for the transportation of public service employees are parked at Mexico Square. The Public Service Employees' Transport Enterprise transports commuters with 410 buses from 24 starting points to 48 destinations.

The Public Service Employees' Transport Service Enterprise, the state bus service provider for public servants, added 50 more buses to its fleet after investing 197 million Br.

The Enterprise bought 45 middle and five low floor buses for 3.9 million Br and 4.2 million Br a piece, respectively, from the state-owned military-industrial conglomerate Metals & Engineering Corporation (MetEC).

The agreement between the Enterprise and the Corporation was signed last March, and MetEC is expected to deliver all the buses next month.

Bishoftu Automotive Industry, one of the dozen industries under the Corporation, assembles four buses a day with parts from China. Each has a capacity of carrying 85 commuters with 50 seats.

Bishoftu, established in 2010, operates with more than 3,400 employees assembling civil vehicles and manufacturing military armaments. It supplies buses to Anbessa, Sheger and other governmental institutions.

The buses will have a Global Positioning System (GPS), e-ticket facility and petroleum consumption controlling system.

Established in 2015 with 55 buses to alleviate the transport problem of public servants, the Enterprise transports more than 82,000 commuters using 410 buses daily from 24 starting points to 48 destinations in the city.

In addition to the regular service, the Enterprise provides transport services using 193 buses for more than 35,000 people daily. It also provides contract and leased transport services by signing contract agreements with clients.

The Enterprise is limited to giving services in the city, but considering the increased demand for mobility, it is conducting a study to expand its services to the outskirts of the city, according to Solomon Ambachew, communications director at the Enterprise, which has over 900 employees out of which 461 are drivers.

"We've started piloting transport services to Bishoftu," said Solomon.

Initially located at the depot of Waliya buses around Lideta, the Enterprise currently has four branches where the buses dock at night. The branches are located at Jemo, Lamberet, Wingate and Aqaqi for the western, eastern, northern and southern parts of the city, respectively.

Fekadu Gurmessa (PhD), an expert in transport geography, commended the procurement of buses, saying that it reduces the number of vehicles that are swarming the city roads, which in turn will ease congestion and lessen traffic accidents in the city.

"In cities such as Addis Abeba where the density of population is high, using public transport options is recommended," said Fekadu. "This is because public transport vehicles carry a lot of people, which decreases the number of cars on the roads."

Arranging separate priority lanes and establishing rapid transit buses will increase the effectiveness of public transport, according to Fekadu.

"The government has to promote usage of public transport and discourage the movement of small vehicles on the roads," Fekadu.

Apart from the experts, users have also appreciated the service given by the enterprise.

Elisabeth Melkamu, an administrative clerk at the Bethlehem Elementary School, has been a regular user of the public service bus since the service from Bethel to Piassa started.

Before that, she was a loyal customer of Anbessa, which required her to rise early in the morning at 5:00am to get the first bus and cost her up to 10 Br when she failed to catch the bus on occasion.

"With less waiting time and no cost, it is a great service for public employees that the government provides," She concluded.

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