June 30, 2008

$158m for Dar’s New Urban Bus System

Tanzania has set aside $158.2 million to implement the first phase of the much awaited commuter transport system in Dar es Salaam.

“Of this amount, the government will give $10 million, the World Bank $110 million and the private sector $38.2 million, specifically targeted for acquiring buses and installing a modern ticket dispensing system,” Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said.

According to Mr Pinda, detailed designs for the project have been completed while compensation to those affected by demolitions to pave way for the project is ongoing and will be completed by June 31.

The project is designed to transform the Dar es Salaam transport system into a modern urban commuter service and reduce congestion in the central business district.

The project will also make life easier for users of footpaths, bicycle lanes, sidewalks and pedestrian walkways.

Mr Pinda said the first phase of the project will cover 21 kilometres with 29 small stations, five main stations and two sheds for parking.

It is also expected the city council will enact stiffer by-laws to discourage people from encroaching or parking cars on pavements and any other such places meant for pedestrians.

The Surface and Marine Transport Authority (Sumatra) recently announced that come August, buses with a carrying capacity of less than 25 passengers will not be allowed to enter Dar es Salaam’s central business district.

Sumatra further said that even for the bigger buses, only those that were manufactured less five years ago would be allowed on the roads, in order to check population and fuel consumption.

A foreign contractor Logit Engenharia Consultiva (Brazil) and Dar-based Inter Consult Ltd, have been working together on the project.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a New York-based organisation promoting equitable and sustainable transport, and the World Bank have supported the project since its inception two years ago.

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