Tanzania ,Dar: getting prepared for better times
To prove wrong that in developing countries almost everything will improve but transport
Dar es Salaam is just like any other city in developing countries grappling with the various problems of rapid growth and development in the face of a rather erratic and unreliable transport system. But the situation is likely to be transformed dramatically when and if the city government, in a bid to address the challenges of growth, adopts a strategy, which from thereafter would continue the growth process without compromising the quality of life of its citizens. The results will be for all to see the sustainable transportation system that would evolve in the city and of course, make it a model city for developing countries. Our Correspondent IMANI LWINGA writes
The master plan for the project has been already formulated. It provides for go ahead guidelines to restructure the city’s urban expansion process to cope with rapid urbanization. Donors, and developing partners as well as stakeholders have saluted the project as viable. Dar will soon integrate transport network making it the most accessible transport system in Tanzania and beyond.
The objective of this strategy includes accommodating an ever-increasing number of inhabitants into a static, physical space without deteriorating the quality of services provided. This system will also be well equipped to provide better services to disabled travelers.
Through this project better known as Dar Rapid Transit (DART), effective urban transportation will be developed only by integrating activities that contribute to urban growth. The priority of quality transportation is on an effective system rather than insisting on a particular mode of transport.
Convenience, travel time, flexibility and cost are the key features of a user-oriented transportation system. Land use controls and the transportation system will complement each other and promote easy interchange of people between their different activities. And of course, a sustainable transportation system has been considered as a partnership between the government, the private sector and the citizens.
Dar es Salaam City Council Head of Transport Unit Mrs. Asteria Mlambo says the much awaited project that will come into full swing next year is geared at improving the quality of life for the citizen through its high efficiency services, comfortability as well as reducing gas emissions that endanger peoples’ health by polluting the environment.
More so, DART initiative is consisted to the National Transport Policy to have a modern public transport at reasonable cost to the users and yet profitable to the operators using high quality capacity buses which meet international service standards, environmentally friendly, operating on exclusive lanes, at less traveling time.
Mrs. Mlambo, who is the project coordinator, says the project would improve the caliber of the city by controlling traffic and providing high frequency services to its people. The project will see replacement of modern transport facilities along its designed corridors.
“Many buses are too old and emit polluting smoke which gets worse in traffic jams. At the moment, the city is also experiencing reckless driving and parking,” said Mlambo. She was enlightening members of the public at a dialogue forum hosted by the Dar es Salaam-based Tanzania Global Development Learning Centre (TGDLC), a member of the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) with over 75 networked development communication hubs globally.
The centre’s core function is to enable decision makers and mid-level professionals and practitioners to access and share the wealth of knowledge and experiences available in the world through the global communication system including video conferencing, Internet, Video, CD-ROM and Print. The dialogue comprised various stakeholders from both private and public sectors.
Mrs. Mlambo acknowledged that the project has no objections so far as it already enjoys the presence of political will which is the most important challenge. The city was also developing effective communication and institutional focus.
“This will be the fastest way to go around Dar. …is the only way to avoid traffic jams all around the city. People will have a clean and safe transport around the city,” says Mrs. Mlambo. She did not provide how much will be used to this multi-billion project which has worn the support of the European Union, World Bank as well as other developing partners.
Currently, the situation of infrastructure and capacity of buses are poor and adequate. The city experiences low capacity of most buses. Mobility suffers from traffic congestion and lack of safety. DART will be operated with modern and sophisticated technology. These include computerized control tower that will oversee the bus routine at all time.
DART passengers will have to carry electronic cards instead of walking with cash as fare. A passenger will be only required to pay once for a trip no matter if s/he has to change a bus. Individual ownership of buses in the city will be disbanded. Instead DART as a system will work with registered companies to enable the system function better.
In a project documentary DVD, the Dar City Council Director Wilson Mukama says: “The city will be turning into a better city with better services.” Adds former city mayor Kleist Sykes: “This will be dedicated services and very comfortable to our citizen. It has high capacity with modern buses.” “We are moving into a better city for better times,” adds Raymond Mbilinyi, the project manager. Latter this month the city will enlighten the public.
However, initial reforms have been implemented in the city. They include licensing of private buses, organizing bus routes using different colours, proposals on alternative public transport modes as well as restrictions on registration of small commuter buses.
DART project embraces the objectives of the National Transport Policy that cites the improvement the capacity and quality of transport network in urban centres, improving the availability of safe and affordable transport services to the people in urban areas.
The national transport policy also stipulates of establishing a transport system that aims at enhancing mobility and which is affordable to low income people. It also advocates of having the kind of transport that is sustainable and environmental friendly.
DART is determined to provide quality, accessible and affordable mass transport system for the residents of Dar es Salaam. This will subsequently enable poverty reduction, improve standard of living and lead to sustainable economic growth. It also acts as a pioneer of private and public investment partnership in the transport sector in the city.
DART has already conducted a survey on the project using a team of experts on Dar es Salaam urban transport systems who have worked to define the evaluation criteria, structure and their weights. These experts were provided with the methodology and criteria to give their best judgment on the process.
DART corridors will include 137 kilometers comprises of 18 terminals and 228 stations. However, the main attraction points to be covered in the initial corridors include Kariakoo, Kivukoni, Posta, Ubungo, Magomeni, Manzese, and Kimara.
Mrs. Mlambo explained that the first phase of the project will have 20.80 kilometers, 31 stations and five terminals. This is expected to carry 290,000 passengers per day. The corridor has different cross sections according to the space available.
Landscape and road design will be made according to the conditions and restrictions of each area. Four typical areas have been defined as Kivukoni Front/ Sokoine Drive, Morogoro Road-Central Business District (CBD) area, Morogoro Road-from Bibi Titi to United Nations, Morogoro Road-from United Nations to Kawawa Road and Morogoro Road-from Kawawa to Ubungo.
Land use proposed to terminal such as Kivukoni Front will comprise mainly commerce –hotels, restaurants, bars, etc-as well as institutional services. The improvement of this area will specially give more life to the hotels and to tourism activities. Banks and corporations may be attracted to this area even though it has relatively high density occupancy levels. Nevertheless, the design will try to preserve the existing trees as possible.
The City Council station will witness two alternatives. The first alternative will be to build a square on the land available whereas the second alternative will involve the tearing down of the old buildings between Mansfield and Samora Avenue to construct a new building.
At a Libya Square a new beautiful square will be constructed, tearing down the building at the southwest side as well as give incentives to renew the buildings on the west side. The City is also planning of making a complete urban renewal, building two high towers with restaurants and leisure activities on the ground level as well as building underground area to serve all the area.
The model of the infrastructure conceptual to be implemented by DART will follow that of the Bogota-TransMillenio System design. The articulated bus “TransMillenio”is an advanced state-of-the-art traffic management system alternative to daily traffic congestion. Dart will exactly take the Bogota system.
Transmilenio works like a subway above the ground using buses. You pay with your electronic card when entering a station and may change buses as often you want without paying again, unless you stay in the station. There are buses that stop at every station and express buses that only stop at certain ones.
Stations will be built by modules, each module with a capacity for 65 buses per hour per direction. The platform will be 36 meters long, enough to stop two articulated buses. Besides the platform, there will be an access area at least 5 meters long and a ramp of at least 10 meters.
Key activities to take place in the project include Dart authority establishment, construction of the infrastructure, and procurement of buses and other Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) equipment. Dart System Institutional Framework includes Surface and Marine Transportation Agency (SUMATRA), Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS), and Dar es Salaam City Council among others.
The initiatives to sell the integrated Mass Transit system for an effective Transport in the city of Dar es Salaam is well supported by politicians, users and existing bus operators.
“We have enthusiasm and commitment to raise money and our development partners are willing to support,” acknowledged Ms. Mlambo.
Technical knowledge is scattered in different institutions, however, efforts are being made to establish an effective institutional arrangement. Nevertheless, effective communication is considered a key towards effective stakeholders’ participation and ultimate success of the planned activities. DART will clearly demonstrate how the transportation system can be made effective even at a relatively low cost by just improvising the existing system.
Posted By: imani lwinga