Sub-Saharan Africa’s First Light-Rail Train


"In Septem­ber 2015, Ad­dis Ababa in­aug­ur­ated Sub-Saha­ran Africa’s first lightrail train (LRT). The LRT, an in­ner-city tram, can carry up to 60,000 people per hour, and after 10 months of op­er­a­tion, rider­ship has reached 15,000 pas­sen­gers per hour in each dir­ec­tion. The train is powered by Ethiopi­a’s power grid, which is fueled al­most ex­clus­ively by hy­dro­power, geo­thermal, and wind power. Emis­sions re­duc­tions from the pro­ject are es­tim­ated to grow from 55,000 tons of CO₂ per year in 2015 to 170,000 tons CO₂ per year by 2030. The more ef­fi­cient mode of trans­port­a­tion is ex­pec­ted to stim­u­late the local
eco­nomy and at­tract new in­vest­ments and will be­come a blue­print for local ex­pan­sion and re­gional rep­lic­a­tion.

The pro­ject is the fruit of an in­ter­na­tional multi-stake­holder col­lab­or­a­tion that in­volved dif­fer­ent levels of the Ethiopian gov­ern­ment, for­eign banks, and the Chinese gov­ern­ment. It is also an im­port­ant tenet of the Ad­dis Ababa Cli­mate Re­si­li­ent Growth Eco­nomy plan to drive the trans­ition to a green eco­nomy."

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