I’ve sung the praises of Bus Rapid Transit systems here before, and in a forthcoming paper from the Green Economy Coalition. So I was pleased to see Dar Es Salaam’s new bus system profiled in the Guardian last week. It’s the first gold standard BRT in Africa, and it won the Sustainable Transport Award for 2018. While it has some teething problems, it’s working and due to expand to cover most of the city in due course.
One of the reasons I like BRT systems is that as well as being a more sustainable option (especially when electrified), it’s a form of transport that reduces inequality. Buses have their own lanes and take priority over cars, and the public option is faster than the private option. The biggest beneficiaries are often low income commuters coming in from the outskirts of the city. It’s exactly the kind of quality public transport that 21st century cities need to be investing in.
Here’s a video introducing the bus in Dar Es Salaam. It also features Bella Bird, who is the World Bank country director for Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia, and happens to be my aunt.
- Feature image by ITDP