Paradoxes of establishing mass rapid transit systems in african cities – A case of Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (DART) system, Tanzania

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - africa, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - mass transit, land use - planning, land use - impacts


Paradoxes, DART system, MRT system, Affected people, Compensation


African cities are growing rapidly both demographically and physically. It is estimated by 2050 the population of African cities will triple from 410 million in 2010 to 1.23 billion. The ensuing travel demand is expected to aggravate chaos in transport systems for almost all major African cities. This paper analyses the emerging paradoxes in the BRT system in Dar as Salaam city where the provision of an organized, affordable and cost-effective public transport system has been eagerly awaited by city residents. However, the Dar Rapid Transit (DART) system, recently established, has astonishingly witnessed opposition from some of the city residents. Findings reveal that the underlying reasons for this paradoxical situation include absence of a current land use plan, ineffective land use control and little adherence to the legal provision for property compensation and resettlement. Lack of common understanding between the government and the affected people, deters the implementation of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in the city. A well organised and inclusive framework of stakeholders and a well structured information dissemination system are the pillars on which successful MRT system can be built. Compensation payment to affected people, at market price, cannot be avoided in MRT development.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Research in Transportation Economics Home Page: