Dar es Salaam’s Exciting Transit Leap: DART Phase Four Kicks Off in September!

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Hold onto your hats, Dar es Salaam! The much-anticipated fourth phase of the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit Agency (DART) Project is set to roll out this September. This exciting update was shared by Engineer Barakael Mmari, the Project Manager for BRT Projects at Tanzania Road Agency (TANROADS), during a recent site visit with DART and TANROADS experts.

Wondering where this new phase will take you? The route stretches from Tegeta, zips through Bagamoyo and Ali Hassan Mwinyi roads, and lands right in the city’s heart at Bibi Titi Road. And that’s not all! The project also includes a branch from Mwenge to Ubungo Simu 2000 via the scenic Sam Nujoma Road.

Eng Mmari shared the purpose of their visit, “We’re here to assess the readiness of the project sites before handing them over to our trusted contractors.” This comes just a month after the official contract signing, a significant step towards enhancing Dar es Salaam’s public transportation.

The project, spanning a whopping 30.1 kilometers from Kivukoni to Boko, promises state-of-the-art terminals, bus stations, and even a brand-new bus garage. And guess what? The cherry on top is the expansion of the iconic Selander Bridge, all under the expert hands of the China Geo-Engineering Corporation.

With a budget exceeding 174bn/-, the clock is ticking, and the project is expected to wrap up in a swift 18 months. And there’s more! The second section, from Mwenge to Tegeta, will see the expansion of three major bridges and the construction of 19 bus stations, thanks to the expertise of the Shandong Luqiao Group from China.

The initiation of the DART Phase Four project is a testament to Dar es Salaam’s commitment to revolutionizing its public transportation system. By enhancing connectivity and infrastructure, the city is catering to its residents’ commuting needs and paving the way for potential economic growth and urban development.

The collaboration with international corporations like the China Geo-Engineering Corporation and Shandong Luqiao Group underscores the importance of global partnerships in achieving infrastructural milestones. Such collaborations bring international expertise, ensuring the project meets global standards.

However, with such ambitious projects come challenges. It’s crucial for the involved agencies to ensure timely completion without compromising on quality. Additionally, clear communication with the public about construction timelines, disruptions, and benefits will be essential to garnering support and understanding.

The DART Phase Four project is a promising step towards a modern, efficient, and connected Dar es Salaam. It reflects the city’s vision for the future, one where residents can easily commute, and the city stands as a beacon of development in the region.

Executed DART Projects

The Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (DART) system in Tanzania is a bus rapid transit system that began its operations on 10 May 2016. The transit system is planned to have a total of 6 phases:

Phase I: This phase runs for 21 km from Kimara to Ubungo, ending at Kivukoni/Morocco/Gerezani. Construction began in April 2012 and was completed in December 2015. This phase is fully operational as of 10 May 2016.

Phase II: This phase will run approximately 19 km from Kilwa to Kawawa south via Kivukoni. Construction was set to begin in June 2019 and is expected to take around 36 months to complete.

Phase III: This phase will occur from Gongo La Mboto to the City Center, including part of Uhuru Road from Tazara to Kariakoo-Gerezani. The International Development Association (IDA) provided funding for this phase.

Phase IV: This phase starts from Boko Basihaya along Bagamoyo and Sam Nujoma Road to Kivukoni and Ubungo. It is 30.1 km long.

Phase V: This phase starts from Nyerere Bridge (Kigamboni) along Mandela and Tabata Roads to Segerea and Ubungo. It is 26 km long.

Phase VI: This phase starts from Kawe along Old Bagamoyo Road and extends the BRT Phase I & II to Moroco, Vikindu, and Kibaha. It is 33.5 km long.

Potential of BRT to the Unfinished Phases

  • Enhanced Mobility and Connectivity: Completing the remaining phases will further enhance mobility within Dar es Salaam, making it easier for residents to commute across different parts of the city. This can lead to increased economic activity as businesses become more accessible.
  • Reduction in Traffic Congestion: One of the primary aims of BRT systems is to alleviate traffic congestion. As more phases become operational, more of the city’s population might opt for the BRT, leading to fewer cars on the road and smoother traffic flow.
  • Economic Boost: Infrastructure projects, like the BRT, can stimulate local economies. The construction phase can create jobs, and businesses along the BRT routes may see increased footfall once operational.
  • Environmental Benefits: BRT systems are generally more environmentally friendly than a comparable number of personal vehicles. As more phases of DART become operational, there could be a significant reduction in the city’s carbon footprint.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Efficient public transportation systems can lead to an overall improvement in the quality of life. Residents spend less time in traffic, have lower transportation costs, and can access parts of the city that were previously difficult to reach.
  • Potential for Expansion and Upgrades: As the BRT system expands, there’s potential to introduce upgrades based on the learnings from the earlier phases. This could include more efficient buses, better-designed stations, or enhanced ticketing systems.
  • Increased Property Values: Areas that become more accessible due to the BRT might increase property values. This can lead to increased revenue for the city through property taxes.
  • Tourism Boost: An efficient public transportation system can make a city more attractive to tourists. Tourists often rely on public transport, and a well-functioning BRT can enhance their experience in the city.
  • Safety Improvements: BRT systems, with their dedicated lanes and professional drivers, can lead to safer roads. Fewer cars and better-regulated buses can reduce the number of road accidents.

What to Expect from DART?

The Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (DART) project, with its phased approach to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, stands as a beacon of transformative urban development. The horizon looks promising as the city gears up to roll out the unfinished phases.

The potential benefits—ranging from enhanced mobility, economic stimulation, and environmental conservation to improved quality of life—underscore the profound impact of a well-executed public transportation system. Beyond the tangible benefits, the BRT system symbolizes a city’s commitment to sustainable growth, inclusivity, and the well-being of its residents.

As Dar es Salaam continues on this trajectory, it not only sets a benchmark for itself but also offers a blueprint for other cities worldwide. DART’s BRT rhythm offers a harmonious step forward in the dance between urbanization and sustainability.

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