Like the vehicles snaking hundreds of metres from gas stations, commuters have been through their own ordeal. Getting to taxi stations early, especially in areas farther from the city centres, is no longer guaranteed to getting to work or school in time. It has been pushed back by hours in some cases. The woes in public transport are partly driven by the fuel shortages, which appear to have worsened than the usual Addis Abebans experience. The authorities and industry players point fingers at one another. The former claim that monthly upward price adjustments fuel an epidemic of hoarding and contraband practices. Industry players blame poor rollout for lifting fuel subsidies and discouraging profit margins.



Public transport is also experiencing a longer-term, slowly mounting shock. Taxi owners are seeing the industry as a loss-maker with low returns and high risks. Taxi associations are losing members, and some owners are selling their cars to enter other markets. While increasing fuel prices may be compensated with adjusted tariffs, the ballooning prices of spare parts are not considered. Since many minibus taxis are decades old, spare parts are ongoing expenses pushing lower margins. The problem is exasperated by the dual-rate pricing system transport authorities plan to introduce at the gas pumps. To shield commuters from the direct costs of lifting the subsidies, minibus taxi owners must use Telebirr and a unique code to transact at fuel stations.


But progress is lacking. Stickers needed to identify public transporters are yet to be printed, while fuel stations are to integrate the system. Neither have over 100,000 vehicles received their codes. It is a headache that makes the transportation business even less appealing.



You can read the full story    here    



PUBLISHED ON Jul 09,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1158]


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