Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam city has won a global award for its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, becoming the first African city to win the prize.
The city won the Sustainable Transport Award for the Dar es Salaam Bus Rapid Transit (DART), which has eased public transport and enhanced safe movement for vulnerable road users.
Moscow City in Russia will receive the honourable mention for its new train line, reorganisation of bus transport and street designs to improve safety of pedestrians.
The two cities will be feted during the Transport Research Board annual meeting in Washington DC, in the United States in January 2018.
Other cities that have won the award in its 13-year history include Seoul (South Korea), Paris, (France), Guangzhou (China), San Francisco (USA), Mexico City (Mexico) and Yichang (China).
Announcing the award in New York, Mr Michael Kodransky, the chairman of the Sustainable Transport Award committee said Dar es Salaam won because it has launched a series of transformative improvements to transit, cycling and walking, including the DART.
“This project is transformative for Dar, and it offers a source of inspiration for other African cities, where new transport systems are being planned.
“Dar has been selected as has the potential to accelerate sustainable transport projects in booming Sub-Saharan Africa, but the work that Moscow has done is likewise incredible,” said Mr Kodransky in a statement published on the committee’s website.
He added that the committee was impressed by the rail and bus transit expansions as well as street improvements with high quality public spaces.
Winning the award will also allow Dar es Salaam to host a sustainable transport summit organised by Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.
Dubbed Mobilize 2018, the summit will highlight achievements made by Dar and also give an opportunity to international transport professionals to learn on how to implement sustainable transport projects.
The DART system is the first in East Africa with Kenya looking to set up one.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta in February this year signed an executive order for the formation of Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, which with among other things, provide for mass transit system, including the BRT.
Phase one of the 21-kilometre DART was opened on May last year and has 140 buses and serves 160,000 passengers daily. The BRT system has five terminals, 27 stations, seven feeder stations, three connector stations with the existing public transport.