Rapid transit system aims for cleaner energy infrastructure and fleet

It is planned by 2023; DART fleet operators will use natural gas to run the buses, as part of mitigating the impact of fossil fuels on the climate. Tanzania has an estimated natural gas reserve of 57 trillion cubic feet.

Currently, all buses running on DART infrastructure corridors use diesel as their primary power source, and officials claim that a bus consumes at least 1.7 liters, which is neither cost-effective nor environmentally friendly. ‘environment.

The project will involve the construction of gas service stations, which will specifically serve DART operators, to alternate diesel.

Speaking to Property Watch earlier this week in Dar es Salaam, DART’s Acting Director of Operations and Infrastructure Management, Engineer Ahmed Wamala said talks had started since mid-year. last, although he did not give more details on the targeted project.

“I can’t go into more detail right now, but it is true that we are negotiating with TPDC for such a clean energy initiative for buses operating in DART lanes,” Wamala said.

According to him, the agency is even eager to see that phase two of the project, linking Magomeni to the suburb of Mbagala, is upgraded to cleaner energy infrastructure.

“We plan to acquire 95 new articulated buses to add to the 210 buses currently in service. In the wake of the effects of climate change, it makes sense that some of these buses will be made using clean energy systems such as liquefied natural gas to reduce carbon emissions,” he added.

However, Wamala noted that the agency plans to involve more players in the central business district project.

The agency intends to involve commuter bus operators in the project by allowing them to operate on all feeder roads connected to the main corridor.

“The project is designed with many service roads connecting the trunks of the different streets of the city. This part of the project will be left to commuter bus operators, but under special conditions such as buses with special certified standards approved by DART. Commuter bus operators will have to form a joint stock company which they will jointly manage and hold shares,” he explained.

He said more new service providers are likely to join the project as the agency continues to expand the BRT network.

According to him, the UDA-RT owns 51% of the shares of the project and the government, through the Dar Rapid Transit Agency (DART), owns the remaining 49%.

“As we speak, the BRT system carries nearly 180,000 passengers daily with 210 buses compared to 76,000 passengers in 2016 when the project only had 140 buses,” Wamala said.

Commenting on the new initiative, Sarah Ngoy, Executive Director of the Climate Change Forum (Forum CC), said the government initiative through DART is in line with global strategies to reduce global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse gases generated by fossil fuels, coal and transport activities.

According to her, burning fuel and diesel emits carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutants such as methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) causes global warming.

Global warming, she asserted, is driving the impacts of climate change that we are already seeing today, such as increased heat, prolonged drought, seasonal flooding and disease.

“The more people travel using means of transport that involve burning diesel and gasoline, the more we contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. So clean energy is a cure for this drama,” Ngoy said. .

According to the 2021 Climate Change and Global Warming Analysis by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the global average temperature at the Earth’s surface in 2021 tied 2018 as the sixth warmest year ever. recorded.

Analysis released in mid-January 2022 indicates that global temperatures in 2021 were 0.85 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) above the average for the NASA reference period, according to scientists from the NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

The analysis asserts that the long-term trend of global warming is largely due to human activities that have increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“Science leaves no room for doubt: climate change is the existential threat of our time. Eight of the ten hottest years on our planet have occurred in the past decade, an indisputable fact that underscores the need for bold action to safeguard the future of our country and all of humanity,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement to the press. mid-January 2022.

NASA uses the period from 1951 to 1980 as a reference to compare the evolution of global temperatures over time. In the East African region, Kenya has become the first country to have clean energy technology vehicles.

A Swedish-Kenyan company, Opibus, recently introduced the first African-designed and manufactured electric bus to Kenya in a bid to bring clean energy to public transport. Opibus, the first Kenyan company to manufacture electric motorcycles, plans to bring the bus to market in a few months and launch it in African markets by 2023.

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