The Tanzania government will from this July stop the registration and licensing of public commuter mini-buses commonly known as daladalas operating in Dar es Salaam, as it seeks to implement the rapid transport system project.
The Dar es Salaam Rapid Transport Agency (DART) in collaboration with the Surface and Marine Transport Authority (Sumatra) and Daladala Owners Association are working on a system for the registration of transport companies that will bid for the service through joint ventures and contracts with experienced international operators.
“The bus rapid transport system will be operated through a public private partnership, with two private bus operators, one fare collector and a fund manager,” said Asteria Mlambo, the acting chief executive at the Dart Agency.
The system will be developed in six phases involving six main corridors and arterial roads in the city.
It will provide rapid boarding and disembarkment of commuters with a dedicated right of way lane for 148 buses with a capacity of 140 passengers each, for both normal and express services. Another 100 buses with a capacity of 60 passengers will transport commuters to the trunk system through feeder stations.
So far, the World Bank has provided $200 million for the project which is expected to begin operations in 2015.
In 2011, the government of Tanzania awarded a $181.6 million contract to German construction firm Strabag International GmbH to build a bus rapid transit system with separate bus lanes and priority right of way.
“Strabag will build centre lanes in both directions exclusively for public bus transit. The existing roadway will be widened to maintain the two-lane carriageway for mixed traffic and bicycle lanes and paved pedestrian sidewalks,” said Hans Peter Haselsteiner, the chief executive officer of Strabag.
Strabag will also lay water pipes, develop a waste water system and telecommunication network, as well as street lighting and other traffic amenities.
The Dart initiative is expected to save the economy billions of shillings lost daily through traffic jams, and provide relief to at least 300,000 daily city commuters.