OREANDA-NEWS. The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group approved on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, two loans totaling US $141.71 million to finance the second phase of the Dar es Salaam Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System Project.

The US $97.42-million loan from the AfDB market window and the US $44.29-million loan from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF)* will support Tanzania Government’s efforts to decongest the city of Dar es salaam.

The project, to be implemented within 36 months, is expected to improve urban mobility and accessibility in the city of Dar es Salaam through provision of enhanced transport facilities that are reliable, safe/efficient and cost-effective, thereby supporting economic and social development of the city and the country as a whole since Dar es Salaam city is a commercial hub for Tanzania and the East African region. The project will also strengthen competitiveness of the city and boost tourism.

It is expected to carry up to 495,000 passengers per day and reduce travel time. In addition, the use of modern BRT buses, which use cleaner fuels, will significantly reduce roadside concentration of greenhouse gas emissions thereby improving air quality and subsequently safeguarding people’s health.

The current public transport system is inadequate to provide reliable, safe and efficient public transport system for the estimated 5 million Dar es Salaam city inhabitants who generate about 60 percent of the countries’ revenue and account for 70% of the city’s public transport users. Hence, there is a need for improved public transport system from which the entire Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit system (DART System) and the BRT project phase 2 has been conceived.

The project is aligned to Tanzania’s Vision 2025, the First Five-Year Development Plan-2010-2015, and the “Big Result Now” (BRN) initiative which underscores the need for increased investment in transport infrastructure with a view to improve social-economic well-being of people and thereby contributing to poverty reduction. Furthermore, the is part of the six-phased DART system master plan and a continuation of BRT Phase 1 that is being financed by the World Bank.

The Bank’s contribution to the project represents 88.9% of the total estimated cost of US $159.32 million while the Government of Tanzania will provide the remaining 11.1%.