Dar es Salaam unveils new bus system to ease public transportation around the city

One of the new state of the art buses that will hit Dar es Salaam streets soon

One of the new state of the art buses that will hit Dar es Salaam streets soon

The City of Dar es Salaam has launched interim operations of the $2.5 million (Sh4billion) Rapid-Bus Transit system aimed at enhancing mobility and reducing traffic congestion in the country’s commercial capital.

Dar es Salaam one of the African fastest growing cities, has long lacked efficient public transport system compelling hundreds of thousands of dwellers into a cramped, miserable and sweaty dilapidated commuter buses on a daily basis just get around.

The project was implemented in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and will be operated collaboratively by the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit Agency (DART) and UDA Rapid Transit Company.

UDA signed an agreement to purchase and run a fleet of 76 modern 160-seater buses to operate the BRT project in Dar es Salaam for four months.

The express buses will be moving non-stop from Kimara Bus Stand to Kivukoni, this journey, which has been taking to two hours with existing commuter buses, will now take not more than 30 minutes.

Speaking at the two-week training of the express bus drivers, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Regional Administration and Local Governments Hawa Ghasia said the new buses have been equipped with security cameras.

“The cameras will help us monitor the conduct of both passengers and drivers,” she said Monday.

Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadiki said the government decision to gegt into a joint venture a local company to operate the project signals commitment and trust to unlock investment.

“This should be an entry pass for other companies to learn and improve efficiency,” he said.

However, critics maintain the new rapid buses will not address the critical issue of traffic jam around Dar es Salaam.

They say the city’s ailing infrastructure will be the main challenge to the new bus system.

A recent study by the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) shows, traffic jam consume more than 20 per cent of annual profits of most businesses in the city of Dar es Salaam metropolitan. Motorists and passengers lose a great amount of time siting in jam.

In two months, the city commuter buses, popularly known as ‘daladala’ will be completely off the road along Morogoro road covering an 18.1Km and part of Kawawa Road from Magomeni to Morocco on a 2.8Km, totaling 20.9km.

DART Chief Executive, Asteria Mlambo said full operation of the rapid buses will be in October this year.