Featured image: Dart buses Credit: The Citizen Tanzania

The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) acting director-general, Kapuulya Musomba, has revealed government’s plans of shifting to natural gas-powered buses on its rapid transit routes in Dar es Salaam.

Musomba told The Citizen that the entire project will see at least 800 buses switching to natural gas, a move projected to cut fuel use by up to 50%.

“The University of Dar es Salaam and Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology are ready to install the natural gas systems on the vehicles,” he said.

Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (Dart) chief executive, Ronald Lwakatare, said the system is available to all including private transport operators.

“Experts have told us that the use of natural gas would save between 30 to 50% of what one spends on fuel. We, therefore, agreed that all Dart buses should use natural gas. This will also help cut fares significantly,” Musomba said.

Dart phase two project

Musomba further disclosed that the Dart phase two project is underway. Read more: Coffee powers public transport in smart cities

Phase two runs on the southeast part of the city, a total of 19.3km. It includes procurement of buses and the fare collection system.

More than 100 trunk buses with a capacity of 140 passengers will provide both normal (stopping at all stations) and express services (stopping only at connector stations).

In terms of limited filling stations, the government will partner with fuel stations to distribute natural gas.

“We plan to use fuel filling stations to distribute natural gas. This means motorists will be able to refill at any nearby petrol station,” Musomba said, noting a deal has already been struck with Camel and Oilcom.