Tanzania BRT opens

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TANZANIA Phase 1 of the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system in Dar es Salaam has opened with a fleet of 138 Golden Dragon 12-metre rigid and 18-metre articulated vehicles operating from 0500hrs to 2300hrs.

There are 100 rigid buses with a passenger capacity of 80 and 38 artics capable of carrying 150. Their procurement followed a global bidding process and was recognition of how dire transport in the city had become. According to Hu Hui, General Manager of Golden Dragon East & South African Region: “Sometimes it took over three hours for our sales personnel to visit a customer in the same city.”

UDA-RT (Usafiri Dar-es-Salaam Rapid Transit) began operating in May 2016 between Kimara and Kawawa North and Kivukoni. There are five large terminals and 29 stations on 21.1km of dedicated bus lanes split across three routes, and additionally 57.9kms of feeder roads. Building work had started around four years previously and was carried out by Austrian construction company Strabag International GmbH with $134m funding coming from the African Development Bank, World Bank and government of Tanzania.

To encourage more people to choose BRT, the Tanzanian government recently launched a week-long BRT Promotion Campaign where the public were able to travel on the buses for free. Samia Suluhu Hassan, Vice President of Tanzania, together with a number of senators from the government were amongst them.

Funding for the second of what are six planned phases was secured in October 2015. Expected to cost $160m, $141m of which is coming from the African Development Bank, that 19km route will stretch from Kilwa to Kawawa. Once the sixth phase has been completed the network will cover 130km and will be able to serve over 90% of the city’s population.