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Collaboration between BRT and Railways is necessary once Dar es Salaam becomes a mega city, JICA claims


When the Government of Tanzania is in phase II of implementing its six phase project of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Dar es Salaam city, studies have shown that the rate of migration of people to the city is so high that by 2030 Dar es Salaam will have become a mega city in which BRT needs to be supported by a railway network to have sufficient public transport services.

The high rate increase of population of people in Dar es Salaam city is what is going to make the place a mega-city.

Statistics show that there was an annual rate increase of 5.6 percent of population in Dar es Salaam between 2002 and 2012 leading to high car ownership in subsequent years.

With the rate of population growth in the city which was cited in the Dar es Salaam Transport Master Plan discussed during a one-day workshop on urban transport in the city, BRT was considered would not be sufficient by 2030 as population of city dwellers would have increased together with many cars at the time.

However, it was noted that with Dar es Salaam becoming a mega-city, the environment will have already become conducive for transient oriented development with many plaza stations where people would invest in many businesses as part of augmenting revenue for BRT and railways project in the city.

According to the current Dar es Salaam Transport Master Plan, immediate commencement of establishing of railways network to supplement BRT in future was a necessary requirement in order to avoid serious problems related to urban public transport in the city.

This was emphasized by Prof. Habino Naohiko of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies of Japan, a consultant commissioned by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Tanzania when presenting recommendations from findings in a study that updated the previous Dar es Salaam Master Plan.

Prof. Naohiko said: “If you believe in the city’s future growth, it is important to implement a large-capacity railway stations. In a mega-city such as Dar es Salaam, BRT capacity will not be sufficient in the future, and will require large-scale improvements.”

He added that for the BRT and railways networks to be established, public private partnership (PPP) arrangements were required as in many developing countries, governments do not have sufficient funds to run such big projects.

However, the Professor cautioned that most of PPP projects for railways in some developing countries have gone bankrupt, a thing that Tanzania should also be very careful when running projects under PPP arrangements.

The one-day workshop on February 26, 2020 which was facilitated by JICA Tanzania took place at Johari Rotana Hotel in Dar es Salaam. The workshop attracted participants from public and private institutions.