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Ethiopia - Addis Ababa City bus fares soar
By Tewodros Kebkab
The management of Anbessa City Bus Enterprise has announced that it has implemented a tariff adjustment as of this month that enables it to raise the current fare on buses.
Public relations department head, Shewarega Sahele, told Capital that the Enterprise has raised the tariff for long distances by 0.03 birr per km while the fares for rides under 12.4 km will remain as is.
According to Shewarega, the need to increase the bus fares was prompted by the current oil price increase, which has put extra financial pressure of 7 million birr on the Enterprise during this fiscal year ending June 2008. In addition the City government has recently cut subsidies to the bus line to 18.9 million birr, which is inadequate to run the company.
Anbessa City Bus Enterprise, a public entity administered by the city government, has been subsidized 0.10 birr per kilometer for every passenger. The seating capacity of the Anbessa city bus is not more than 30 persons, although the bus is often seen jam-packed, its doors barely able to close.
The fare has increased in different categories. The trip covered between 6 km to 12.4 km remains at 0.50 birr. A fare that was set some two years ago.
Long distances trips ranging between 9 and 13 km distance are now increased to 0.75 birr from the previous 0.50 birr, while 13 - 15km distance trips’ fare has doubled from 0.50 birr to one birr.
The public relations head said the tariff adjustment was a necessity, and is not unbearable for the passengers considering the increment for taxi fares, which may be somewhat of a burden on middle class citizens.
Passengers are resigned to accept the increment but are still not happy with the service given by the Enterprise. This is an additional blow to the lower middle class, who have not yet adjusted to the inflationary spiral of price prompted by the increase in petrol, said observers.
Transport ranks first in national development expenditure in Ethiopia, absorbing at least 30% of national resources.
Established in 1943, Anbessa City Bus Service Enterprise is a non-profit making organization, currently serving 650,000 – 700,000 people daily on its 466 DAF buses.
Anbessa gives bus transport service for the city of Addis Ababa and the surrounding areas from 6:15 a.m up to 10:00 p.m on about 93 routes.
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