New BRT buses to add impetus in city transport

COMMUTER transport services in the Dar es Salaam city is expected to flourish further as 920 new buses are set to arrive between now and March next year to serve in both phase one and two of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

The phase one transit, which is now in use, stretches from the city centre to Mbezi Mwisho parallel to Morogoro road whereas phase two from the city centre to Mbagala suburb is under construction and is expected to start operations in March next year.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam during the climax of a customer services week, DART’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Eliphas Mollel said out of the expected 920 new buses, 750 will be plying on BRT phase two route and the remaining 170 buses for the operating phase one.

“The new buses are expected to arrive in the country soon between now and March next year. The move is aimed at improving our services, considering the increased number of passengers and the envisaged launching of the phase two in March 2023,” Dr Mollel stated.

Dr Mollel explained that the efforts are going hand in hand with an introduction of smart cards and smart gates, whereby in less than four months, the passengers will have a chance to buy tickets electronically to reduce queues and inconveniences while boarding the buses.

“The agency plans to adopt full cashless services in the next four months when it will officially introduce smart cards and smart gates to be used at boarding stations,” he said.

He said they will also embark on using ICTs systems for modernising the services to meet customer requirements and needs, he insisted.

Expounding further, Dr Mollel said the BRT buses serve more than 200,000 passengers a day, a sign which indicates that the services were attracting many city dwellers, hence creativity to maintain quality transportation services was something to emphasize on.

Dar es Salaam bus rapid transit began operations on May 2016 in the city.

The transit system consists of 6 phases and the construction of the first phase began in April 2012 by the Austrian construction company Strabag International GmbH.

Construction of the first phase, which has a total length of 21.1 kilometers with dedicated bus lanes on three trunk routes with a total of 29 stations, was completed in December 2015.

As of September 2022, BRT fleet size has increased to 305 buses.

Phase 2 involves the construction of infrastructure that includes 20.3km of exclusive BRT lanes and Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) facilities along Kilwa Road corridor and part of Kawawa Road.

The project corridor traverses from Mbagala Area in Temeke District to the Central Business District where it connects with Phase 1 of the BRT system at the Kariakoo hub.

The Provision of BRT system is expected to directly enhance and improve the traffic circulation and eliminate bottlenecks to traffic flow to various economic activity centres such as the industrial zones, and the vast populous residential areas of Temeke Municipality.

The proposed project would therefore impact positively on the informal and formal businesses by providing them with improved accessibility and enhanced roadside air quality.

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