Addis Ababa opened it's first light rail line in September 2015. The second East-West line is expected to open in October The two line system will extend 32 km and serve 39 stations. Three extensions are planned, along with a third "Green" line
A 100km rapid transit link between Addis Ababa and Nazareth is also being developed as a joint effort of the Ethiopian government and various
private sector interests.
The 15 station line, more of an interurban than light rail, would use
either new rail track parallel
to the existing Ethio-Djibouti Railway, or updated track to the existing
railway. Services would run every 10 minutes, serving
stations in Meskel Flower, Gottera, Ring Road, Kaliti, Akake, Dukem,
Debre Ziet and Mojo. Also included would be an electric trolleybus
feeder system. Power would be supplied by the Ethiopian
Electric & Power Authority (EEPA).
As of mid-2011, no project had begun. It appeared the Ethiopian
government had chosen, and very foolishly might I add, to focus on
frivolities like food and shelter rather than the desperately needed
metro. In 2010, the government realized the importance of mass transit over food and housing by declaring that a 2 line, 30 km light rail system would be built, thanks to a massive loan from China. Part of the loan will be paid back in raw materiels. When criticized by the West for enaging in a Chinese colonialist mentality, the Ethiopian
president wisely stated "Itís in their (Chinaís) interest to spend tens of billions of dollars
and itís in our interest to have access to those tens of billions of dollars.Ē Which is very similar to what I told that collector from Capital One a few nights ago.
In December 2012, a controversy arose as to whether a statue of King Menelik in Adwa Square would be damaged. Assurances were given by the government that the good king's effigy would be just fine and dandy. Of more interest to
true subway fans, the announcement included that a 2 km subway tunnel was already being dug underneath the square. The tunnel will include one subway station and is the longest of several tunnels along the line.