TUMI Challenge: Addis Ababa Transport Bureau

Safe Cycling in Addis Ababa

The absence of a cycling culture in the city of Addis Ababa can be attributed to the current infrastructure, behavior of private car drivers & taxis as well as the mountainous terrain. These complex issues were successively being addressed by the TUMI project. The TUMI pilot began with the vision to install over 200 bikes of a Bike Sharing System in the center of Addis Ababa. The TUMI Team, as well as other international partners, shared the risks and guided the AATB (Addis Ababa Transport Bureau) to consider all aspects before implementation, with a strong focus on safety and awareness during the introduction of cycling.

In short

Technical & awareness raising support for initiatives to promote cycling

Procurement of 60 bicycles and accessories

Cooperation between international partners and local agencies in unison for better outcomes

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Key aspects such as infrastructure design, police training, school-level training, and general sensitization of biking in Addis Ababa were addressed during the project. TUMI’s direct funding supported the program to train the cycling trainers, construction of training grounds as well as supplying bikes.

November 2018 - Kick-off meeting with AATB, WRI, ITDP, NACTO & Bloomberg Initiative, hosted by TUMI

Preliminary study on pedestrian composition & cycling culture

Setup of an NMT Task Force

NMT Strategy launched by ITDP

1st Safe Cycling Workshop

NACTO-GDCI – Best Practice on bike lane design

UN-Habitat Fund – PBS Feasibility study

TUMI TOT Program

Jemo-Lebu Bike Corridor, launched by NACTO-GDCI

Transfer of 60 bicycles to essential workers who needed them for safe mobility (Police, staff of city workers, etc.)


Training of Trainers Program (TOT) held, with more than 38 participants (school teachers, sport federation representatives, traffic police officers, athletes etc.)

Design and support on construction of bicycle training grounds

Procurement of 60 bicycles and accessories (used for TOT and interim bike lane)

TUMI supported AATB by promoting to major national policy measures: lifting of import duties on bikes & introducing incentives (tax breaks, etc.) for lokal bike production

TUMI also provided technical support to the NACTO

GDCI led push to launch of a 3 km interim Bike corridor in a suburb of Addis Ababa

All the work, led by the city of Addis Ababa, together with the international partners helped to support preparing streets and attitudes for the introduction of cycling

COVID response

Mobility for Essential Workers

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project partners have decided to distribute the bicycles to government officials and police, in order to ensure the mobility and health of these essential workers.

Challenges and Learnings

AATB is an organization with a wide mandate in public transport matters for the city of Addis Ababa. They were foremost focused on the bus and mini-bus network for which AATB has the mandate within the city limits.

Together with all international partners, convincing of the importance of Active Mobility took persistence and concerted efforts to demonstrate the benefits of such a change in mindset.

It is clear that a pilot project is the easiest way to “prove” to the city’s decision-makers that change can work.

**The new reality of Covid-19 places even greater importance on the consideration of safe and affordable mobility, with cycling as one of the best options in the world today.

Potential for Scaling & Replicability

The project has shown that the collaboration of different international partners, if well-coordinated, amplifies the expected results and outcomes.

For instance, based on the work done in Addis Ababa, the TUMI partner WRI now works with the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport in creating a national „Non-Motorized Transport Strategy 2020-2029.“

The scaling of a similar TUMI Challenge Project should therefore focus on the deliberate stakeholder engagement of local and international actors in the respective city.

  • Birhanu Woldeyohannes - TUMI Challenge Winner 2018

    Birhanu Woldeyohannes - TUMI Challenge Winner 2018

    "We are not dealing with “Rocket science”, in many cases, it is about changing our daily mindset and behavior by providing a reliable affordable and healthier alternative for all"

Integrated Bicycle Sharing in Addis Abeba is supported by


ITDP - Institute for Transportation & Development

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