Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 8-11 July 2013 "Transport and Sustainable Infrastructure", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
The problems of public transport are varied and more evident in developing cities such as
Dar es Salaam, which are experiencing rapid demographic and economic growth. The
minibus sector continues to provide public bus transport services, dominating every route
in Dar es Salaam city. Minibus transport service provision in Dar es Salaam city has been
characterised by a very harsh operational environment which has contributed to unreliable,
uncomfortable and unsafe transport services in the industry. This paper is focused on
identifying the existing minibus transport operational problems, analysing the cause of
these problems and suggesting possible ways of mitigating them. Basically, there is limited
regulatory/institutional effectiveness and lack of a clear and comprehensive policy on
public transport in Dar es Salaam. Minibus operators are subject to poor; regulation,
standards of operation, and standard of maintenance of vehicles and related emissions. In
addition, fares are controlled in a manner, which tends to satisfy social rather than economic factors. General traffic congestion and lack of enforcement of traffic laws/regulations creates a disorderly environment for operators to conform to acceptable
standards and regulations. Policy reforms in the sector need to be directed towards;
strengthening the institutional and regulatory framework in which public transport thrives,
formalising the operators including the technical know-how necessary for orderly service
sustenance and reforming the public bus transport system by introducing the direct
competitive tendering regime where operators compete to operate. These can bring quality
operation with commercial benefits at minimal social problems.
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