Dar es Salaam. The entry of the rapid commuter buses in Dar es Salaam early next year is expected to bring relief to city residents from traffic jams after the start of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) services under the Dar Rapid Transit Agency (DART).
Tanzania will be the first country in Africa to taste the operations of BRT, as the project is unique in the region with high expectations of reducing traffic congestion that has been causing huge economic costs, according to Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda.
Delivering the opening speech at the consultative meeting for DART marketing yesterday, Prime Minister Pinda said the project was also expected to attract more investments into Tanzania’s biggest city due to significant reduction in public transport costs.
“The first phase of the project is at 65 per cent in terms of completion target. We expect it will be completed smoothly with successful results,” he said. He said DART which was launched by President Jakaya Kikwete in 2010 was delayed due to logistic hurdles at Gerezani area and Ubungo bus terminal.
“We are now optimistic that the project will reap many benefits in Dar es Salaam city which is expanding rapidly even as traffic congestion poses problems. Congestion has been slowing down economic activities,” the Premier said. The problem of traffic congestion is a result of the high rate of urbanisation, improper urban planning, low pace of broadening roads and construction of new roads as well as low investment in feeder roads, according to him.
“In 2012 the city had 10 per cent of the country’s population. In 2050 Dar es Salaam is expected to have 10 million inhabitants. We have designed this project in order to find a solution to these problems of urbanisation,” he says.