​DART makes Dar es Salaam outshine many African cities

DART makes Dar es Salaam outshine many African cities

By William Gatambi

The aspect of urban public transport in big cities remains a conundrum worldwide as many people continue to migrate from rural areas to cities with the hope ofgetting jobs or doing business of whatever magnitude in order to ameliorate poor life conditions that they face in rural areas. One of the negative results of continuous flux of people to urban areas is overpopulation which results into scarce of social facilities including public transport.

Talking of cities facing poor traffic mobility in the world, Dar es Salaam city cannot be an exception.The city recently caught the attention of many policy makers and practitioners in the field of public transport in the world when it started to implement bus rapid transit (BRT), a system which has been proven to be a panacea for problems associated with urban transport in big cities.The big day for Tanzania was on January 9 this year when the country was accorded with a Sustainable Transport Award (STA) in Washington, DC due to the implementation of bus rapid transit (BRT) in Dar es Salaam.

The Tanzania delegation that went to receive the STA trophy was headed by Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania in the United States of America and Mexico, Wilson Masilingi. Others who were in the delegation include Deputy Minister of State in the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government, Mr. TixonNzunda, Chairman of DART Ministerial Advisory Board, Prof. David Mfinanga, and DART Agency Chief Executive, Eng. Ronald Lwakatare.

Dar es Salaam city was last year announced as the winner of STA after having been nominated for the award which is conducted by the Sustainable Transport Award Committee whose main player is the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). The global minds in the industry were impressed by the DART project in two perspectives, namely, the way the city of Dar es Salaam was able to transform the nature of urban public transport in the city from the old and traditional way of handling public transport in urban areas such as Dar es Salaam to a new and more convenient way of making people travel fast, comfortable and at affordable bus fares.

The second criteria that made Dar es Salaam city shine among other cities in the world through DART project is the fact that the BRT infrastructure in the city have been constructed in the replica of international standards.

Breaking the news on the STA award on August 15, 2017 to the DART Agency’s Chief Executive, Eng. Ronald Lwakatare, the Chairman of the STA Committee, Mr. Michael Kodransky said: “It is our honour to inform you that Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is the winner of the 2018 Sustainable Transport Award. The STA Committee was impressed with the transformative nature of the DART BRT, incorporating best practice as well as world-class walking, cycling, and access features. These efforts have made Dar es Salaam the first African city to win the Sustainable Transport Award in its 13-year history.”

Tanzania Census 2022