Upcountry passengers to buy tickets via online platforms

Wednesday February 12 2020

Passengers at Ubungo Bus Terminal in Dar es

Passengers at Ubungo Bus Terminal in Dar es Salaam line up to buy tickets for up-country trips. The Tanzania Bus Owners Association says it will soon introduce electronic bus ticketing services to curb fare hid and reduce inconvenience. Photo | File 

By Hellen Nachiongo @musanachi60 hnachilongo@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Passengers travelling up-country will soon start purchasing their tickets through online platforms, partly to curb illegal fair hike by bus operators.

The Tanzania Bus Owners Association (Taboa) has floated a tender for provision of electronic bus ticketing service.

Taboa secretary general Enea Mrutu told The Citizen yesterday that through electronic system travellers will be able to book or purchase their tickets anytime, anywhere and choose seat number through mobile phones.

“Fourteen days after the advert, we are going to hold a meeting with Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to discuss and see how the system will be integrated with the authority,” he said.

He said that by integrating with TRA, any government institution or authority wanting to access Taboa information can do it through TRA.

“Once we get an operator, we will have a system that will be integrated with TRA to easy operating system, remove inconveniences and reduce unnecessary costs we incur through the use of cheap labours,” he said.

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He said the target was to secure a local operator to help in creation of employment in the transport and technology sectors.

Mr Mrutu said the system will allow the operator to manage individual bookings and cancellations of trips.

He said all buses travelling from Dar es Salaam to different parts of the country will be connected to the system to help passengers choose the buses of choice. “We will start as pilot project, if the system works successful, it will be rolled out countrywide.”

Last December, Works, Transport and Communications minister Mr Isack Kamwelwe said only way government can curb fare hikes by dodgy operators was to introduce electronic ticketing.

Mr Kamwelwe expressed concern to introduce the system to solve permanently problem of hikes of fares because the money seemed to benefit bus drivers and not owners.