How Dar is bogged down in endless traffic jams d Traffic jam in Dar es Salaam By The Citizen Reporter Due to road congestion, Dar es Salaam commuters spend up to two hours travelling a distance as short as 16km, a new survey by the Centre for Economic Prosperity (CEP) has established. The monthly report regarding Dar es Salaam travel time released recently for March by the economic prosperity body indicates that, for instance, the average time spent travelling from the City Centre to Mbezi Beach suburb was about 98.4 minutes, with the maximum time recorded being 194 minutes. According to the organization, this prolonged travel time was eating on Dar es Salaam residents' and authorities' economies. "The business environment in Dar es Salaam is seriously being affected by traffic congestion and an apparent laxity in terms of the city's infrastructure improvement and expansion," noted part of the report whose copy has been obtained by The Citizen. The report also notes that despite the city's importance to the national economy, there has been no major investment in its road infrastructure since 2007. From 2007 todate the government had invested only around Sh91billion for expansion of roads in Dar es Salaam, the report shows. According to available statistics, the roads benefitting from the investments included Sam Nujoma, Nelson Mandela and Kilwa roads. In 2007/08, Sam Nujoma received Sh9 billion for an expansion project. The following year the road received Sh1.3 billion, before putting a claim on Sh450 million in 2009/10. In 2008/09 and 2009/10, Nelson Mandela received a total of over Sh30 billion for a project which is still ongoing. On the other hand, Kilwa Road received more than Sh41.4 billion over the same period. But these amounts are meagre compared to what is needed to expand Dar es Salaam roads to levels that would be able to sustain the steady increase in the number of vehicles entering the city's roads. Due to road congestions, CEP notes in the report that it is now common for commuters to spent 2 hours or more travelling a distance as short as 16km. The report adds that the time excludes that which is spent by city residents waiting for public transport. "Dar es Salaam is the main port of entry for goods shipped from overseas to Tanzania and an important transit point for goods destined for Rwanda, Malawi, DRC, Zambia and Uganda. Economic activities in Dar es Salaam alone constitute up to 60 percent of tax revenues for the nation," says the Centre. The centre notes that traffic congestion in Dar es Salaam has far serious consequences for the economy as excessive travel time affects business operations, vehicle operation costs, as well as the welfare of citizens in terms of time spent in traffic, public health and air quality. In the first survey of its kind, CEP, which intends to make the survey a regular monthly exercise, has established that people spend more time on roads in Dar es Salaam than it is necessary. The survey indicates that average time used to travel from Mbezi Luis to Posta along Morogoro Road was 91 minutes, while expected time under normal traffic should be only 30 minutes. A journey to the opposite direction was found to consume 100.4 minutes. It also takes an average of 81 minutes for one to travel to the City Centre from the airport using Nyerere Road, while the actual standard time has been calculated to be 27 minutes. However, there is a lot of variation in travel time. For instance, in March the maximum time recorded on Bagamoyo route shows that from Posta to Mbezi Tanki Bovu 192 minutes were spent (three hours and twelve minutes). The minimum time was 45 minutes. Likewise, the maximum time spent from Mbezi Tanki Bovu to Posta was 137 minutes (two hours and seventeen minutes), whereas the minimum time spent stood at 30 minutes. For the Nyerere Road route, a huge variation has also been noted. For example, the maximum time spent on the way to Posta was 88 minutes (one hour and twenty eight minutes) whereas the minimum time recorded was 23 minutes, below the standard travel time. According to the survey, there is a slight decrease in variation from Posta to Airport during rush hours while maximum time recorded stood at 72 minutes (one hour and twelve minutes) as the minimum time fell under 29 minutes. The survey established also that the Mbezi to Posta route via the Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road, in the morning hours, is favoured by traffic police, mainly because it is frequented by high-ranking government officials. There seems to be no big difference in congestion between morning and evening jams.