Sub-Saharan Africa’s first modern light-rail system which opened in Ethiopian on Sunday, has been greeted with great happiness by Addis Ababa’s commuters and admiration from fellow Africans. Numerous congratulatory messages on the successful completion and launch of the project were shared on social media.
The $475-million, Chinese-built and funded Light Rail project has been welcomed a step in the right direction, a development which could transform and spur the country forward.
The 32-kilometre line is expected to carry 15,000 people per hour in one direction at a top speed of 70km/hr and it will undoubtedly ease commuting woes in Addis Ababa.
The transport fare is pegged at “6 Ethiopian birr ($0.29), and the line will cost about 1.5 billion birr a year to run”, Bloomberg reported.
Transport Minister Workneh Gebeyu said, “The government is subsidizing this transportation system, this is not for commercial purpose, it’s for the public”.