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Factors affecting the accessibility of Anbessa City Bus Service in Addis Ababa: A case study of Kolfe-Keraniyo sub-city

posted on 05.09.2018, 00:00 by Kelbesa Kenea
An effective public transport system is vital to the socio-economic status and growth of major population centres. This is particularly the case for cities in developing countries, where it is critical that an accessible and affordable service is available to cater for large populations of low-income urban dwellers. However, the accessibility of urban transport services is influenced by many factors including reliability, resource availability and management, coordination of stakeholders and community engagement, involvement of the private sector, and the transparency and accountability of the various government and/or regulatory bodies that are involved in service delivery. Unless properly managed across the transport ecosystem, these variables can contribute to dysfunctionality and poor outcomes for transport users. Addis Ababa City is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, yet it is constrained by an ineffective city bus service. Some 33% of the people living in Addis Ababa are low-income citizens who dwell in the peri-urban regions of the city, and who rely on the bus transport service to connect with employment, education, health, recreation and other opportunities. Unfortunately, previous studies have indicated that there is significant dissatisfaction of users in terms of the quality of public bus service. Despite this, to date, there have been no studies to assess the overall accessibility of the bus services; the factors that contribute to poor accessibility; and how different components of the public transport system should be modified for better service delivery outcomes. This exploratory research project examined the factors affecting the accessibility of Anbessa bus service via a case study of Kolfe-Keraniyo Sub-City, using a mixed-method approach comprising in-depth interviews, a user survey and development of a proposed new model for Anbessa bus service. First, via a review of relevant literature, a conceptual framework for public transport service delivery was developed, with a specific emphasis on city buses. This framework showed that effective delivery comprises of – but is not limited to – factors affecting the accessibility of public transport, coordination of public transport, stakeholder engagement in public transport, and the mandates of regulatory bodies in public transport governance; each of which are relevant characteristics of public transport in sub-Saharan African countries. Next, a total of twelve interviews were conducted with key informants, including managers or experts from the Addis Ababa transport authority, Addis Ababa traffic management agency, Anbessa city bus service enterprise and Addis Ababa transport program office. Thematic content analysis of these data revealed that Anbessa bus service currently lacks good stakeholder coordination. The interviewees also observed that the transport policy and regulatory instruments are not well designed, and that accountability and jurisdictional boundaries relating to Anbessa bus service delivery are quite weak. Moreover, interviewees believed that issues of poor resource allocation and management, weak law enforcement, and inadequate transport and traffic facilities coupled with poor transport planning and management have greatly contributed to the inaccessibility of Anbessa bus service in Addis Ababa. Quantitative data analyses were made possible via a survey of Anbessa bus users from Kolfe Keraniyo Sub-City (total n = 196). In agreement with the interviewing results, these data revealed that Anbessa bus service lacks safety and comfort within the service; that it experiences considerable mismatch of demand-and-supply; that it is impacted by poor law enforcement, and that it relies on a traditional – and now outdated – operational model. Chi-squared tests and logistic regression models confirmed that Anbessa bus service is poorly accessible due mainly to the unreliability of the bus service, extended waiting times, and user dissatisfaction with the poor connectivity of the service between different routes. Collectively, the research analyses indicated that Anbessa bus service delivery does not currently possess a suitable service delivery model to provide accessible public transport in a dynamic urban setting. The research findings were therefore applied to the development of a new model, designed to address existing gaps in resource allocation and management; stakeholder coordination and networking; and awareness of, and engagement by, the community in terms of the policy and regulatory instruments relating to public transport in Addis Ababa. The principal recommendations arising from this model is that Anbessa bus service would reach better accessibility standards through an operational approach that includes active participation of the local community; together with a willingness and commitment of politicians and regulatory bodies to allocate essential resources to service delivery in Addis Ababa. Alternative arrangements that might be considered also include the introduction of a public-private partnership; structural and operational adjustment of the operator to the city’s dynamics; and procurement of semi-domestic innovations (buses) that are manufactured with a standard quality to match the demand and supply. This study has provided new insights into factors impacting public transport accessibility in the context of developing nations; has developed recommendations specific to improving service delivery in Kolfe-Keraniyo Sub-City of Addis Ababa; and identifies several new areas for ongoing research in the field of urban transport accessibility.



Central Queensland University

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Professor Susan Kinnear ; Dr Delwar Akbar

Thesis Type

Master's by Research Thesis

Thesis Format