Two bus depots are under construction and are expected to be operational in three months time. Located in Shegole to the north and Qality to the south of Addis Abeba, the depots cost 1.3 billion Br.
Managed by the Transport Programs Management Office, the construction of the Shegole and Qality depots has reached 95pc and 85pc completion rates, respectively.
The Shegole depot is estimated to cost 556 million Br. Built on 5.4ha of land and designed to accommodate 212 buses and 19 maintenance bays.
The Qality depot will cost 790 million Br and rests on a 5.2ha plot. It can host 244 buses and includes an underground basement that can park up to 89 buses. There is a plan underway to expand this depot by two hectares and accommodate an additional 200 buses.
With a daily service capacity of 300 buses for each depot, both sites will host fuel stations that enable six buses to fill their tankers at a time. Two dry cleaning machines, two automatic body washing machines, an under-hood washing system and two paint booths have been installed.
The water for washing the buses is pumped from groundwater wells with pumping capacities of eight cubic metres an hour. The used water is recycled in a water recycling plant, while liquid waste from the whole block and the site will be treated in a wastewater treatment plant. Each depot has two reservoirs with the capacity of holding 150 cubic meters of water.
Offices, a café, security and surveillance systems, backup generators and fire alarm and fire suppression systems are other features that have already been completed.
The design and build contracts were awarded to China State Construction Engineering Ethiopia, a firm that has been in business for over 10 years. The company has constructed the headquarters of the African Union and is currently building Commercial Bank of Ethiopia’s new head office.
ETG Designers & Consultants Plc was hired for 3.3 million Br to review the design and provide construction supervision and contract administration.
The contractual period for both projects is 21 months from project start date, which was November 2016 for Shegole and March 2017 for Qality.
“The contractor has requested an extension of three to four months for both projects to complete the finishing work,” Azeze Betru, assistant resident-engineer of ETG, said.
The depots will start operation step-by-step in the coming three months with the commencement of parking, fuel station and washing facilities, according to Nathanael Challa, project office division head.
Fekadu Gurmessa (PhD), a transport geography lecturer at the Addis Abeba University for more than a decade, finds the projects appealing but believes the depots are too spacious.
“It would have been possible to have gotten the same capacity of depots using lesser space by building under the basements as in the case of the Qality one,” he said.
But Nathanael argues that the topography of Shegole is different from Qality, which makes an underground parking space impossible.
“The design is based on the master plan targeting maximum cost effectiveness and operational efficiency,” he said.
Shegole depot used to be managed by the Anbessa City Bus Service Enterprise, the 75-year-old transportation company that operates with 3,500 employees and 366 buses. It transports 270,000 commuters a day on its 106 routes in the city, and another 18 routes outside of Addis Abeba.
Upon completion, both Shegole and Qality depots will be handed over to the city administration and will be used by all of the city bus service providers including Anbessa City Bus.
Addis Abeba has 366 Anbessa city buses, 188 public service buses, 240 Sheger public buses, 86 Sheger student buses and 64 Alliance City Buses, according to the first quarter report of the city’s Transport Authority.
An additional two depots are in the design stage, of which one is expected to accommodate 450 buses at Mekanissa, and 850 buses in Yeka.
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