MPs call for thorough assessment of DART operations

DODOMA: THE National Assembly has advised the government to conduct a thorough assessment of the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit Agency (DART) operations and come up with ways to improve its services.

The committee also recommended that the government should consider opening up the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to other companies to provide competition to DART and boost efficiency in service delivery.

Tabling a report on activities undertaken by the Parliamentary Committee on Regional Administration and Local Government in 2023 here yesterday, the Chairman of the committee, Dennis Londo said DART was established to facilitate passenger transport in Dar es Salaam and to be a public institution that generates profits to enable it to contribute to the country’s revenue.

He said that in its analysis the committee they were satisfied that the BRT projects were progressing well since the first phase, which involved the construction of infrastructure from Kivukoni to Kimara and later to Mbezi and its branches.

Londo said that the second phase involved the construction of infrastructure from Mbagala to Stesheni, and the third phase is currently underway from Stesheni to Gongolamboto.

He further noted that the committee discovered that the implementation and service delivery through the project and the way it has been implemented has made Tanzania a model country leading 12 countries to visit Tanzania to learn about the operation of urban transport by looking at the success of DART He named the countries Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal, Ghana, Rwanda, Angola, Botswana, Nigeria and Liberia.

Londo explained that despite DART project being a model for several African countries, it is still facing many challenges.

He said that after a thorough analysis of the agency’s report presented to the committee, the challenges identified included, individuals encroaching on the project’s infrastructure, thus causing difficulties in its operations.

Londo said the agency’s failure to set fares without relying on other authorities, has made it fail to operate profitably and provide adequate services.

“This situation has been causing difficulties in transportation and inconvenience to passengers,” said the MP.

He explained that the agency has requested the enactment of a law to enable it to operate in other cities and towns, particularly in Arusha, Mbeya, Mwanza, and Dodoma.

“The committee is skeptical about the agency’s ability to expand its operations to other cities and towns because even the DART project in Dar es Salaam is not being implemented and delivering services efficiently as intended,” he said.

He said the committee recommends DART first strengthen itself in Dar es Salaam before it expands services to other cities and towns in the country.

In November last year, DART announced that it is looking forward to embarking on the expansion Kivukoni passenger terminal project from October 21.

DART Acting Transport Planning Manager, Eng Mohamed Kuganda said upon its completion the terminal will have the capacity to handle 320 BRT buses per hour, up from current only 80 buses.

The expansion is part of the implementation of the 429bn/- BRT Phase IV project stretching from Kivukoni to Tegeta via the Bagamoyo Road in the city.

This came as the BRT phase II project which starts from Mbagala to Gerezani is at the completion point set for handing over to the government soon.

The other phases (III and IV) are currently under construction. The expansion is meant to enable the terminal to accommodate buses that will be plying on BRT routes in Phases II (Mbagala), Phase III (Gongo la Mboto), and Phase IV (Tegeta).

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