Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is the largest city in Ethiopia with a population of 3,400,000 in 2008. The population of Addis Ababa has doubled in the last 20 years and is estimated to increase to 5.56 million by 2020.


Almost one-third of Ethiopia's urban population is living in Addis Ababa, putting substantial pressure on the city's housing, services and, particularly, transport infrastructure. As a result, motorized traffic in the city is growing, and while walking is still the dominant mode (60.5%) its modal share is falling.

Furthermore, the city's transport system suffers from many inadequacies. Non-motorized transport is an important component and consists mainly on walking. However, there is poor provision for popular non-motorized transport with over 60% of the street network lacking footways and this leads to concerns over road/transport safety, with road accidents increasing by 12% per year. The public transport system of Addis Ababa is comprised of the publicly-owned Anbessa Bus Service and the privately owned minibus taxi services. The demand for public transport is also very high with most buses running over capacity during peak periods.

In Addis Ababa, issues connected to high population growth, urbanization and increasing levels of car ownership are leading to unsustainable levels of traffic on the existing infrastructure, and an increase in pollution levels. The ability of the city to manage traffic demand associated with these factors is compromised.

To address this situation the city is currently developing a BRT network. Rapid progress has been made on the pilot route that will be over 10km in length with supporting enhanced pedestrian facilities - high quality footways and safe crossings for access to the BRT. Barriers have been introduced to help direct pedestrians crossing the BRT which comprises the central two lanes of, in some places, six lane carriageways. In the future the BRT will be further developed to provide a comprehensive network for the city, perhaps with a LRT provision as well.

TRL (the UK Transport Research Laboratory) is leading the Addis Ababa element of the GEF funded UN-Habitat three cities project on sustainable urban mobility. It is providing technical support for the forthcoming implementation of the mass transit corridors - Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Light Rapid Transit (LRT) systems.


You are here: Home Project Cities Addis Ababa