Dar es Salaam — The government is optimistic to get a new operator for the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (Dart) before end of the year.
This was revealed yesterday by deputy minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Josephat Kandege, during the urban transport stakeholders meeting that brought together participants from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
“We are at the final stage to announce the tender,” said Mr Kandege.
The new development comes in the wake of complaints about poor Dart services run by the Usafiri Dar es Salaam Rapid Transport (Udart).
Mr Kandege said the new operator would be needed to operate 305 buses.
The current operator, Udart, operates 140 buses.
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“The first phase started with interim operation which needed Dart to have 140 buses out of the required 305,” noted Mr Kandege.
“But now we need an operator who would run all 305 buses as required for the first phase of the project,” he said.
The Dart’s attempt to get the second operator to join Udart has proved futile three times.
Dart chief executive officer Ronald Lwakatare attributed the failure to a number of unresolved issues with stakeholders, including the current operator who had once filed a case in the court.
“The World Bank, our financier is not ready to support us until all issues get resolved,” said Mr Lwakatare.
He said seeking for a new operator was meant to improve the quality of transport services.
“We will keep doing all in our powers to ensure we deal with the challenges grappling the transport system with a view to enabling people benefit from the service,” said Mr Lwakatare.