On 24th April 2015, the DART Agency signed a contract with a UDA-RT (UDA Rapid Transit) for the provision of Interim Services. UDA-RT is a special purposes company formed by UDA and the two Daladala Associations DARCOBOA and UWADAR for the provision of interim services. There are three reasons why the DART Agency has launched interim services, these are: (i) to provide relief to the commuters in Dar es Salaam; (ii) to make use of the infrastructure constructed and to curb its misuse and destruction; and (iii) to provide a training ground for all concerned, and build local capacity in view of the provision of full services. UDA-RT is to procure 76 large new buses according to BRT specifications and to commence operations between Mbezi – Kimara – Ubungo and Kivukoni by September this year. Two buses of the above are to arrive within two months and will be used to train drivers.
Dar es Salaam currently has about 5 million inhabitants. They do an estimated 7 to 8 million trips each day. Commuter trips of these are about 5 million per day. An estimated 3-4 millions of these commuter trips are done by daladalas and the rest by private cars, bajajs, bodaboda and walking. During the interim services period an estimated 130,000 people will make use of the DART system, while during full operations the DART system will transport about 500,000 people each day.
No UDA-RT is not going to replace the DART Agency. The DART Agency will be the licence holder and will regulate UDA-RT as per the signed services agreement. UDA-RT is the service provider who will operate the buses as per the agreed schedule.
The purpose of UDA-RT is to provide interim bus services. Once the full service provider has been selected, the intention is to fully integrate the two.
The ISP Agreement has many Schedules. In these Schedules the quantity and quality of the services to be provided is described in detail. For example the buses must be clean, each day and must be operated according to a set schedule which will be known to the commuters. There is a system of payment deductions if the service provider fails to adhere to the agreement.
The Interim Services are not to be confused with full services which are planned to commence by end of 2016. Interim Services will essentially provide express services for those who commute long distances. The 76 buses will not be sufficient to serve all the commuters in the corridor. Services will not be provided on the two branches of the BRT system which still need to be completed, namely on Kawawa road and Msimbazi street. Daladalas will still run in parallel to the DART buses. The fares on the DART buses are planned to be TZS 700 from Kimara to Kivukoni and TZS 900 from Mbezi to Kivukoni. These fares still need to be approved by SUMATRA, but if approved will be more expensive than a daladala trip. So it will be recommendable for a commuter who does shorter trips to use a daladala, while for longer trips it will be advantageous to use a DART bus, due to its shorter commuting time and higher comfort.
As said above, the DART Agency will oversee the provision of services and will have the remedies to ensure that the operator adheres to the standards agreed. The DART Agency will establish a complaint line over which commuters can express their dissatisfaction (or satisfaction).
Yes, daladalas will still operate during the interim period, even in the Morogoro corridor. It is estimated that the interim services will replace about 250 daladalas. These will be either compensated or rerouted to other routes which still need daladala services. As said above it is recommended that commuters with long commutes should make use of the DART services while for shorter trips it may still be advantageous to make use of daladalas,
UDA-RT has been selected on a sole source basis, which means without a competitive process. The Tanzanian procurement law allows such selection for the purpose of creating local capacity. UDA-RT are the current providers of public transport in Dar es Salaam. They deserve to be part of the future transport system, but they have no experience in operating a BRT system, nor with the planned Smart card based fare payment system. So it was decided to allow them to provide interim services (which are about 25% of the full services) in order to gain experience and also to relief the plait of the commuters and to make use of the completed infrastructure. In the meantime the DART Agency launches an international competitive bid and will select someone with BRT and Smart card experience. To be selected such bidder must show willingness to integrate with the Interim Service Provider.