Classifieds 50% off, use promo code FBkpkPromo The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Shiny new buses challenge chaotic old ways in Tanzania

TANZANIA: Sweaty passengers crammed into battered buses and stuck in traffic jams look on enviously as Tanzania’s shiny new commuter buses fly by on the pristine asphalt of dedicated highway lanes.


AFP

Sunday 18 September 2016, 11:00AM


A Dar Rapid Transit (DART) bus travels down a street in Dar es Salaam. Photo: Said Khalfan/AFP
A Dar Rapid Transit (DART) bus travels down a street in Dar es Salaam. Photo: Said Khalfan/AFP

In Dar es Salaam, the East African country’s biggest city of five million people, rush hour has always meant chaos, until now.

The first phase of a new bus rapid transit system opened earlier this year offering a swift, clean alternative to the traditional “dala dala” buses, a twist on the English word “dollar” coined in the 1970s when the system started as an answer to inadequate public transport.

The new route cuts through 20 kilometres of the seaside city with two lanes of tarmac running down the middle of the existing highway.

When completed the route will extend for 130km, separated from the traffic by a crash barrier that prevents motorists from taking advantage of its free-flowing smoothness.

“Every day, hundreds of thousands of people lose time, and therefore money, in traffic jams, which have become a very big problem in Dar es Salaam,” says Robert Lwakatare, head of the government agency responsible for overseeing the Dar Rapid Transit (DART) project.

A recent study estimated that traffic jams cost the Tanzanian economy $188 million (B6.55bn) a year.

“It’s amazing,” says one young passenger who gave just her first name Judy, as a Chinese-made bus with bright blue-tinted windows pulls up to the platform.

There are 140 buses and 27 new stations in the transit system, enough to meet demand for the time being.

“Before I took two to two and a half hours to go into the centre of Dar es Salaam, and now it takes me 30 minutes,” Judy said after scanning her ticket at an automated gate.

17th Architect and Engineering Exhibition 2017

“This might seem normal in Europe, but it’s not in our countries,” says Lwakatare. “All this is unique in East Africa.”

The clean vehicles themselves are a far cry from the dilapidated dala dalas, of which there are 7,000 registered in Dar es Salaam today, according to African Development Bank figures.

The drivers on the new buses wear short-sleeved shirts, ties and neatly pressed trousers and politely ask passengers to sit before starting off. Aboard the dala dalas, passengers find any space they can, while drivers shout and conductors hang precariously from open doors.

The first phase of construction cost $290mn (B10.1bn), mostly funded by a World Bank loan, and Tanzania is relying on the African Development Bank to fund the remainder of the project. Lwakatare says that around 100,000 people already use the new buses every day, a figure predicted to rise to 300,000 in the months ahead.

Costing 400-800 Tanzanian shillings (B6) the ticket price is a little more expensive than on the dala dalas, which are destined to be phased out as the new system comes online.

Part of the budget is earmarked for compensating dala dala owners, who have also been included in a private sector consortium to operate the network in partnership with the government DART agency.

A dala dala tout named Justin, in faded jeans and an old green and grey jumper, views the new buses and what they mean for his future with equanimity.

“For the moment, people still need us because the blue bus does not go everywhere and are a bit more expensive.

“Later, we’ll see,” he says with a shrug, “but I think there will always be a need for a cheaper service.”

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Phuket officials exasperated over dumping in Karon

How about remote controlled CCTV Cams, directed on the spots, from high elevation in trees or light masts? Zoom in on the culprits, catch them, 2000 ...(Read More)


‘I was framed,’ school chief swears

Jor12,the misreading/not understanding was regarding Kurts comment.I absolutely agree with your opinion....(Read More)


‘I was framed,’ school chief swears

Jor12, the article also states "The case first drew the attention of the media after one parent circulated a video clip allegedly showing the sch...(Read More)


Phuket officials to patrol Rawai pier to check for begging sea gypsy kids

Jor12... Collusion:secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy in order to deceive others. Once again, not the correct usage, and I did NOT say coll...(Read More)


‘I was framed,’ school chief swears

eagle...no, it says nothing at all about the Director, only a denial and being a well organised plot. "The director WAS SAID to have had his depu...(Read More)


Tons of rubbish cleared in Phuket airport beach clean-up

Paully44...merely commented on your illogical post. Don't know how you arrive at your conclusion. If you have any evidence you should be doing som...(Read More)


Phuket officials to patrol Rawai pier to check for begging sea gypsy kids

Rorii..there is no evidence of collusion by parents. However, if there is, it lends further credence to my analysis of the kids being entrepreneurial ...(Read More)


Fears for thousands of tower block residents after London inferno

Let's hope that Thai Government also looks into cladding ( outer coverings) of high rise buildings. It will give peace of mind when the thai Gove...(Read More)


Phuket officials to patrol Rawai pier to check for begging sea gypsy kids

Sounds noble. Could it be though that these officially non-thai citizens / children... are not sharing a cut of thier earnings with..... Aaaaah. ...(Read More)


Tons of rubbish cleared in Phuket airport beach clean-up

Kurt; I'm well aware of the antics but have to correct him. Jor 12; your assertion that is must be a foreigner whom can't read the Thai langua...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.