Want a new tram? Ask the Chinese
As the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa unveils its first commuter rail system, funded and built by China, UK councils are also eyeing up eastern opportunities
I was an hour and a half late for a meeting at the Hamlin Fistula Foundation, on the outskirts of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, but my taxi driver just shrugged. What did I expect? It was March and Addis Ababa’s roads had clogged up into near-permanent gridlock as the country’s first commuter light-rail service, which has just opened, neared completion. Above us, the concrete viaducts that would bear the brand-new trains represented a shiny new future. But down here, on the streets, it was chaos.
Of course, this is nothing new. My taxi driver would have had a lot in common with the cab drivers and businesses of Edinburgh, who complained bitterly for six years about the disruption to their streets before the Scottish capital’s tram system finally opened in 2014.
Source: Guardian Transport