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CCM Regional Political Committee appreciates DART’s efforts despite challenges

CCM Regional Political Committee appreciates DART’s efforts despite challenges

The Dar es Salaam Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Regional Political Committee has showered a lot of praise on the concerted efforts made by the Dar Rapid Transit (DART) Agency in managing the ongoing bus operations of Phase I and the continuing infrastructure development of Phase II along Kilwa Road.

The committee expressed such kudos to the Agency when conducting a site visit to the ongoing construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure in DART Phase II along Kilwa Road on February 04, 2020.

On their arrival to the site, the committee members were eager to know why the bus operations were started under interim service and why it has taken more than two years to continue with such arrangement instead of starting full service consisting of 305 buses instead of the present 140 buses which sometimes pose some operational challenges.

Explaining to the committee the reasons to launch the services under interim service provider, the DART Agency Chief Executive, Eng. Ronald Lwakatare, averred that the BRT infrastructure development of DART Phase I was completed in 2016 before the process of procuring the service provider under international competitive bids was completed.

Eng. Lwakatare said: “Once the construction of BRT infrastructure was completed, we started to observe vandalism of the infrastructure by drivers from mixed traffic, motorcyclists and three wheelers.”

He continued to say, “In order to curb such behavior and protect the infrastructure, the government deemed it proper to engage an interim service provider whose service would also serve as a litmus test of whether the infrastructure had flaws or not.”

The Chief Executive also pointed out that since the services were not yet at full swing, the number of buses was 140 instead of 305 required for full service.

“The good thing with this project is that people in the city accepted it wholeheartedly as at the beginning the daily ridership was 76,000 passengers and after sometime it went up to 200,000 passengers per day”, he said.

He told the committee the success that have come with the commencement of BRT services under interim service including reduction of travel time from 2 hours to just 45 minutes for a route starting from Kimara terminal to Kivukoni or Gerezani terminal.

The Chief Executive also pointed out that the project has created more employment in the area of cash management, bus driving, security and cleanliness in the corridor.

He revealed that most of the operational challenges are rooted in the shortage of buses that cause other challenges such as scrambling for buses at stations and overloading of buses especially during peak hours.

He told the committee that the Agency in collaboration with other government stakeholders has worked very hard to improve the services which includes repairing and maintaining the buses and replacing non-performing staff.

The committee members were also impressed by the pace of work for the construction of BRT infrastructure Phase II along Kilwa road that goes to Mbagala. They visited ongoing construction of the BRT roadway along Kilwa Road and the feeder station at Mtoni kwa Aziz Ally whose progress is at different stages.