DART CE urges stakeholders to speed up TOD process

As the Dar Rapid Transit (DART) Agency strives to expand the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in the six main corridors in Dar es Salaam, stakeholders in urban public transport are also bracing for implementing Transit Oriented Development in the DART system.

Acting in the capacity of Permanent Secretary in the President ‘s Office Regional Administration and Local Government as the Chairman of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting on July 18, 2022, the DART Agency’s Chief Executive, Dr. Edwin Mhede, instructed the JCC members to fast-track the actual implementation TOD in the DART system instead of remaining discussing plans.

Dr. Mhede has highlighted the importance of implementing TOD, saying that it would bring about many good aspects economically and socially in the city.

The Chairman said that the envisaged project would beautify the city by enabling smooth traffic in terminals, stations in major corridors and feeder routes and facilitating good accessibility and safety for passengers in the system.

Dr. Mhede has averred that station function improvement as one of the components of implementing TOD would also make the area livable and add value to the corridor through investments in financial services, beverages, foods and shops.

The Acting PS at the meeting further elaborated that the TOD project benefits in the DART system would spill over to other areas of the city, including improvement of the international gateway, mushrooming of commercial and business activities and enhancement of usage of modern technology, which finally would make Dar es Salaam an intelligent city.

Due to the spillover effects of TOD, the Chairman of the meeting envisaged that the project would also facilitate the establishment of new cities in the suburbs with a mass volume of housing construction to cater for residential and business demands, apart from establishing parking facilities for people to leave behind their private cars and take BRT buses to and from their workplaces and business centres.

Dr. Mhede, has said: “Although we have already started promoting Non-motorized Transport in the city through the implementation of the DART project, the TOD factor will further plan and put into practice the idea of improving pedestrian environment and tourism-related business such as transit malls and seaside walking.”

He continued to assert that TOD would benefit people in many ways, summarizing it as a people-centred project in improving the centre and corridor, increasing ridership and revenue, improving investment facilities and the value-added of BRT and stations.

TOD being a people-centred project, the Chief Executive also revealed the underway plans for the DART Agency to start evaluating other cities in Tanzania to see if they had qualified for BRT projects.

The cities to be considered for the BRT project include Dodoma, Mwanza, Arusha and Mbeya.

The stakeholders at the meeting agreed to start implementing some aspects of TOD in two places, namely, Gerezani and Sabasaba grounds. Other stations that have been earmarked for TOD include Morocco, Magomeni, Ubungo, Buguruni, Nyerere Airport, and Mbagala Rangi Tatu.

The experts in steering the implementation of TOD are from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) based in Dar es Salaam to provide technical expertise in implementing government strategic projects, including the DART project.

The DART Agency as the leading player in implementing the TOD project, works with other key stakeholders to materialize the said project, including PO-RALG as supervising Ministry, Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements