2010-01-30 10:48:00 Sh4bn lost daily in Dar traffic jams CEOBy Bernard Lugongo THE CITIZEN A Sh4 billion loss is incurred every day from traffic jams in Dar es Salaam. Workers spend hours on their way to workplaces and environmental pollution causes diseases such as cancer which cost huge sums of money to treat. With the annual loss of Sh1.4 trillion, the amount of the money lost in traffic jams is larger than the Ministry of Infrastructure Development's 2009/10 budget of Sh208.7 billion. Dar Rapid Transit Agency (Dart) chief executive officer Cosmas Takule yesterday told a meeting of transport stakeholders that vehicles were also consuming more fuel by being on roads for hours. The transport stakeholders were brainstorming on plans by the Surface and Marine Transport Authority (Sumatra) to have few companies to provide public transport service in the city as opposed to current system where individuals are licensed to provide the service. Mr Takule said the Dart project would reduce the loss incurred in road congestion. According to him, Dar es Salaam has more than 6,000 commuter buses that carry only 43 per cent of the city dwellers. And about 90 per cent of the buses carry fewer than 30 passengers. The city has more than 120,000 private vehicles that carry only six per cent of residents with 480,000 of their seats lacking passengers. Fifty-one per cent of residents walk to their various destinations. Sumatra director-general Israel Sekirasa allayed fears on the Dart project as a similar system had worked wonders in many countries. He encouraged commuter bus operators to register companies. But the chairman of Dar es Salaam Commuter Busses Owners Association, Mr Sabri Mabruk, said the bus owners were not effectively involved in the plan. He criticised Sumatra for giving priority to foreign companies to invest in the city transport.