PRIVATE buses can now temporarily offer public transport services to relieve city commuters as authorities enforce the order for buses to carry passengers according to the licensed capacity, a measure that aims at containing the spread of novel coronavirus.
The Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) has invited owners of the buses to apply for short-term licences to start offering transport to city commuters.
LATRA’s move comes barely a day after the ‘Daily News’ exclusively reported on transport woes commuters in Dar es Salaam were enduring as authorities ordered for quick implementation of the ‘level seat’ directive, resulting in many passengers being stranded at various bus stations.
In last Wednesday’s ‘Daily News’ edition, a picture of how commuters struggled to get transport, particularly in the morning and evening, was cast in sharp focus.
Brief checks by this newspaper in highly populated areas such as Mbagala, Gongolamboto, Kurasini and K igamboni, witnessed scores of commuters walking to their destinations as others crowded at different bus stations waiting for buses for hours.
In its statement to invite temporary public transport operators yesterday, LATRA said due to implementation of measures against the corona pandemic, it noted an increase of demand for more buses to cater for public transport demand.
“The LATRA calls upon individuals, schools or other institutions that have idle buses to request for temporary licences for offering services in city areas,” part of the statement said.
The owners could submit their requests to their nearest LATRA offices and conditions for providing transport in the cities would be considered.
However, LATRA Director General Gilliard Ngewe later told the ‘Daily News’ over the phone that they mainly targeted school buses, considering that schools are now still closed.
It is expected that licensing more buses during this time of combating the virus would cushion commuters from struggling in getting transport.
One of commuters residing in Mbagala Rangi Tatu, Mr James Masanja, told this paper that on Tuesday morning he was stranded at a bus stop for over two hours waiting for the bus to his workplace.
Some passengers were forced to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for alternative means of transport such as motorcycles and tricycles commonly- known as bodaboda and bajaj respectively.