Planning and Implementing Sustainable Transport in Addis Ababa

Roads and rail tracks in Addis Ababa

Roads and rail tracks in Addis Ababa


Ildikó Szabó

Ildikó Szabó

Consultant, International Transport Studies
T: +36 (30) 3893086

Current Transport situation in Addis Ababa

The city of Addis Ababa is experiencing rapid expansion and development. While the current population is estimated at 4.5 million people, some forecasts expect it to grow to 10 million by 2040. Car ownership is increasing, reflecting the increasing economic development and wealth, but this is also leading to severe traffic congestion, pollution and resulting problems related to safety, health and productivity.

In Addis, there is a strong political will for mass-transit systems. The city already has a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, which is not common on the African continent. In addition, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line will soon be constructed from Jemu to Winget together with some intermodal hubs in Mexico, Kofa and German. However, a much larger offer of public transport needs to become available over the coming decade to cover the public transport demand. This way, the city is to avoid an existential crisis in the form of congestion and air pollution.

Reliable and affordable daily transport is currently just a dream for the majority of the population who walk or use over-crowded mini-buses to and from work and school and to reach friends and family. Many more inter-connected modes of affordable, safe, women and children friendly as well as all-inclusive transport must be implemented to allow all residents in Addis access to the opportunities and services that are necessary for a better quality of life. This results in several significant transport challenges.

Considering the rapid rate of growth of both the population and number of private vehicles in the city, there now exists a limited window of opportunity to plan and gradually implement a more sustainable transport system for Addis. If the opportunity is missed over the coming years, it will become increasingly hard and costly to reverse the trends of High-intensity car-use, Congestion and pollution, Disconnected places and Dangerous roads and isolated citizens.

The SCTDP Project

The objective of the Strategic Comprehensive Transport Development Plan (SCTPD) for Addis Ababa commissioned by AACRA is to appropriately address the transport and mobility challenges identified in Addis, by proposing and planning the implementation of new transport strategies and projects for the city, that are feasible from economic, financial, technical and environmental viewpoints and embraced by the involved authorities and the public. The project started in May 2019 and will run for 24 months. It is being undertaken as part of the the Transport Systems Improvement Project (TRANSIP programme) for Addis Ababa and is being financed by the International Development Association of the World Bank.

Since the start of the SCTDP project, the Consultant has been performing a thorough analysis of the transport situation in Addis Ababa, and the findings have been reported and workshops carried out. Further, the Consultant elaborated a data collection plan and methodology to collect additional needed transport data in forms of traffic surveys and counts and use this data for the completion of a thorough assessment of transport conditions in Addis as well as for the transport model development. These surveys are currently being performed.

Ramboll is the Lead Consultant of this assignment and implements the project together with two Italian firms, Mobility In Chain and IRD Engineering as well as a local sub-consultant, MGM Consult.

2030 Vision for Sustainable Transport in Addis Ababa

Planning is a dynamic process. Achieving the ‘optimum’ planning solution must be a robust mixture and combination of considerations – striking a balance between political considerations, multiple stakeholder needs as well as spatial planning objectives and goals. As planning affects society as a whole, it is an iterative process which actively involves stakeholders. Stakeholders include anyone that will be impacted by the proposed plan and as transport is the backbone of economic and social life in Addis, that means everyone who lives and works in the city is a stakeholder.

As the overall vision and the sub-sector plans are developed for Addis Ababa, the Consultant’s team has identified key stakeholder groups and will ask for their input into the plan’s detail. These include formally recognised group or entities including government departments, civil society organisations and NGOs, universities, businesses and business representative groups. Many of the civil society organisations and NGOs that will be consulted represent and defend the interests of vulnerable groups/women – such as elderly residents’ representative groups, the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD) and Addis Ababa Women Association. All members of the public will also be invited to give their feedback on the proposed SCTDP plans.

Click for more information here.


Ramboll Group A/S

Ramboll Group A/S
Hannemanns Allé 53
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Tel:+45 5161 1000
Fax:+45 5161 1001

Danish CVR numbers

Danish CVR numbers

Ramboll Group

Rambøll Danmark

Ramboll Energy

Rambøll Management Consulting

Other sites

Other sites