Authority Plans to Digitize Transport, Traffic Mang't Systems

November 27 , 2018

The Federal Transport Authority will institute a digital system that integrates traffic and transport management systems. By the time it is operational, it will have cost the Authority an estimated 45 million dollars.

The Transport & Traffic Management System will integrate driver training, testing and licensing, vehicle registration and inspection, penalty management and road accident management.

The Authority is in the process of hiring a consultant to design the System and to supervise the installation of all related infrastructure. A tender to hire a consultant was floated on August 25, but was canceled as a result of a lack of interest by qualified firms. After the tender was floated for the third time, which closed two weeks ago, eight local and international companies submitted their technical and financial offers.

The Authority plans to have the system design completed by the end of this fiscal year.

“The current traffic system requires an integrated information system where information about vehicles and penalties is available and accessible,” said Banchialem Luel, IT head at the Authority. “We also hope to improve our service efficiency and reduce economic costs related to transportation.”

Almost a third of driving licenses in Ethiopia are fraudulently obtained, according to a study done by the Authority.

“The number of unqualified drivers on the road is alarming,” said Banchialem. “The new system will provide the traffic police with the necessary infrastructure to easily identify fake drivers' licenses.”

This Management System is part of a bigger project, Transport Systems Improvement Project (TRANSIP) to be implemented by the Authority and Addis Abeba City Roads Authority.

Financed by the World Bank in 2016, the 300-million-dollar project aims to improve mobility in Addis Abeba and the effectiveness of road safety compliance systems throughout Ethiopia. With almost two-thirds of the budget allocated to the capital, the project is expected to be completed in half a decade.

The project involves expanding the existing traffic signal and control systems in Addis Abeba and improving the conditions on selected streets for pedestrians, modernising the operations of Anbessa City Bus Enterprise, building the operational and managerial capacities and efficiencies of urban transport agencies and establishing a database for driver and vehicle licensing nationwide.

“It’s a huge project that requires a lot of work and that involves a lot of stakeholders,” said Banchialem.

The Authority also digitized its operations and services three months ago and placed over half of its services online.

Around 16,000 people have lost their lives to traffic accidents in the past three years with another 50,000 sustaining injuries.

Experts have reservations about the TRANSIP project, however, including the Transport & Traffic Management System.

Fekadu Gurmessa (PhD), an expert in the area of transport geography for more than two decades, believes that the main problem in transportation is accessibility, not lack of moblity.

“The project does not address the immediate and important transportation challenge of the country,” he says. “The system does not prioritise the problem of public transport inaccessibility.”

PUBLISHED ON Nov 27,2018 [ VOL 19 , NO 970]

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