The Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (DART) project was initiated by ITDP in 2002. ITDP met the mayor at the time, who decided to make BRT one of the hallmarks of his administration. ITDP oversaw the feasibility study and the business and administrative planning.
The operational plan for the Phase I BRT system selected the highest volume minibus corridor in Dar es Salaam, along Morogoro Road, and connected the intercity bus terminal at Ubungo to the dense market area of Kariakoo, and also passing through the CBD to the downtown ferry terminal. The dense corridors and high demand for the system are expected to make the system financially sustainable without government subsidy – an aspect of crucial importance in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2010, the DART BRT system is expected to break ground for construction and Phase I is expected to be operational by 2013. Once running, the BRT will truly transform urban life in Tanzania, allowing people a safe and efficient trip through their city, away from traffic congestion.
The DART system will also include high quality bicycle lanes in parallel to the corridor as well as safe sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. ITDP’s work on bicycle and pedestrian initiatives in Dar es Salaam has led to increased awareness and a new discourse within the government on sustainable street design. The city is also planning a 10-kilometer bicycle/pedestrian promenade on Dar es Salaam’s Indian Ocean beach waterfront, currently almost completely ignored but soon to become a quality public space and model for the rest of Africa.