Adapting Urban Light-Rail Transport to the African Context
A Process Conducted by Transport Authorities and Chinese Rail Corporations in Addis-Ababa, Abuja, and Lagos
A contextual approach to Light-Rail Transport (LRT) needs to be tailored towards specific contexts, in terms of situations or contingencies, such as socio-economic and environmental factors. This research intends to discuss the societal benefits comprised of well-informed contextual factors for policymakers and urban transport authorities, to enable them to be able to formulate objective policies for a city's socio-economic development. The aim of this article is to analyze the contextual factors in three cities which are responsible for the contextualization of infrastructural innovations of urban light-rail transport from China. The methodology that has been used is a qualitative method using multiple case studies, which includes a pilot and semi-structured interview. The analysis compares the similarities and differences within Nigeria, and between Nigeria and Ethiopia. The most perceptible contextual factors which influence infrastructural innovations in Nigeria include an electric energy supply, modernization of LRT and their stations, Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), and seamless integration of LRT with other transport modes. The most conspicuous factors in Ethiopia are emergency ticket shops, seamless integration of LRT with other transport modes, and Non-Motorized Transport (NMT). Nigeria and Ethiopia both share the seamless integration of LRT with other transport modes. Therefore, academically analyzing contextual factors helps to unravel the poly-contextualization and context-specific decision-making processes in LRT implementation.