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TRL PLANS TO HIKE PASSENGER FARESPIUS RUGONZIBWA
Daily News; Monday,July 14, 2008 @08:10
THE Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) plans to hike passenger fares anytime from now to cope with increased operational costs.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Mr Omari Chambo, confirmed to the 'Daily News' yesterday that the company has such plans.
The move comes a few days after the railway transport service provider along the 2,600-km central line announced its plans to introduce express service lane later next month.
Mr Chambo said that TRL has already submitted the application to raise tariffs to Surface and Marines Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) for discussion with stakeholders.
“Yes, there is such a plan but as usual it cannot be okayed until the regulatory authority endorses it after consultations with the stakeholders,” said Mr Chambo.
TRL last week revealed that the company wants to raise fare for the third class passengers using special sleeping coaches in which one passenger will have to pay 33,700/- for Mwanza route and 34,100/- for Kigoma route.
Currently, rates for ordinary third class are 19,900/- and 17,100/- for Mwanza and Kigoma respectively.
Other rates stand at 39,200/- for the second class from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, while for Kigoma it is 39,700/-. First Class passengers are charged 54,300/- and 54,800/- for Mwanza and Kigoma respectively.
Mr Chambo said he was optimistic train services would improve because TRL has secured a 34 million US dollars loan from the World Bank, out of which 16 million US dollars has already been disbursed.
The Director General of Rail Assets Holding Company (RAHCO), Mr Linford Mboma, said his company was going on with rehabilitation of the rail line and so far about 47 kms had been replaced.
However, he said, according to the investment contract between the government and RITES, the operator had to rehabilitate over 600 km of rail line by the end of the investment contract.
“We are going on well with replacement and rehabilitation of rails in trouble spots like Kintinku, Itigi and Kaliua. We plan to replace 60-pound with 80-pound tracks that are currently in use," said Mr Mboma.
TRL said last week that it would import 23 sleeping coaches and six locomotives from India to replace the current fleet.