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World Bank approves new loan for Tanzanian transport project

Traffic snarls are a significant problem in Tanzania currently. (Image source: Martijn.Munneke/Flickr)

The World Bank has approved a US$100mn loan for Tanzania to finance a public transport project aimed at reducing traffic congestion in Dar es Salaam

The funding has brought the total cost of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system in East Africa’s second-biggest economy to US$290mn.

World Bank country director for Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, Philippe Dongier, said, “Traffic jams are a significant problem for the economy [of Dar es Salaam]. They reduce productivity, threaten future growth prospects for the city and the country, and they pollute the environment.”

The Tanzanian government said in a statement that Dar es Salaam, with a population of more than three million, has been choked by traffic jams, but that the transit system would cut travel time through the implementation of dedicated lanes.

The lender said the new transport system would replace around 1,800 privately-owned commuter mini buses and create 80,000 jobs.

The World Bank informed, “The BRT system will be operated by a US$40.9mn public private partnership arrangement with two private bus operators, one fare collector and a fund manager.”

The 20.9km network will be expected to serve around 300,000 commuters daily.

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