Tanzania has launched its commuter train services in Dar es Sallam, with intentions of easing traffic congestion in the country, especially for low-income earners in the country.
According to Transport Minister Harrison Mwakyembe, commuter trains operated by Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) and the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) will ferry approximately 30,000 passengers a day. Trains will operate six days a week, during the morning and evening – not in the afternoon and late at night.
One track covers a 25km (15.5 miles) journey between Dar es Salaam’s Mwakanga and Tazara railway stations and the second track runs for 20km (12.4 miles) between Ubungo-Maziwa and City railway stations.
A one-way ticket costs 400 Tanzanian shillings (about $0.25, £0.15), which compares favourably to commercial buses fares which range between 500 shillings and 1,000 shillings – depending on the journey.
TAZARA Station Mistress, Ms Walivyo Maneno, said operations started well and revealed plans to add seven more coaches to the existing seven.
Dr Harrison Mwakyembe also commended the TRL Engineers and other workers for their patriotic spirit by renovating coaches, wagons and locomotives efficiently and cheaply. “In the past we used to dish out 18bn a year for rehabilitation of the same workload, but TRL has done the work at the cost of 2.6bn only. This is wonderful. Thank you,” the minister said at the launching ceremony.