THE SOCIAL-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ROAD TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN DAR ES SALAAM REGION

THE SOCIAL-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ROAD TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN DAR ES SALAAM REGION

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CHAPTER ONE

PROBLEM SETTING

1.0 Introduction

Transport or transportation is the movement of people, animals, services and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. Transport infrastructure consists of fixed installations necessary for transport including roads, railways, airways, waterways, canals and pipelines and terminals such as airports, railway stations, bus stations, warehouses, trucking terminals, refueling depots (fueling docks and fuel stations), and seaports. Terminals may be used both for interchange of passengers and cargo and for maintenance. Vehicles traveling on these networks may include automobiles, bicycles, buses, trains, trucks, people, helicopters, and aircraft.

The forms of transport include public transport which includes the provision of formal and informal transport that is provided collectively by state and private sectors. Fare in the said providers is paid by the passengers. Besides buses operating on public services; many private companies, schools, parastatals and government agencies operate buses to provide transport to and from work for their personnel/employees, trucks dealing with raw materials, services and goods transit. Private transports include privately owned cars, motorcycles, and bicycles.

In the past few decades, developing countries have experienced huge population growth (Mistro and Mfinanga, 2011). The increase in population has led to the increase in demand for urban transport, especially in African cities. However, the transport infrastructure in these cities is not appropriate for the road transport demand. This has

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caused serious road congestion and thus the public transport systems become overloaded.

The public transport models in DSM region include trains, buses, minibuses, taxes, bodaboda1 and bajaji2. According to the 2002 National Population and Housing Census, the DSM region has a total population of 2,487,288, having increased from 1,360,865 as recorded in 1988 census (PMO-RALG, 2010). The population increase of 1,126,423 people represents an average annual population growth rate of 4.3 percent. The rate is above the national population growth rate of 2.9 percent. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated urban population of almost 4 million inhabitants in 2010 and an annual population growth rate of more than 4% per annum (JICA, 2007). This population growth is not proportional to the improvement and development of the road transport system in the region which in turn causes problems on road transport system.

The economic infrastructure of the region is still undeveloped. DSM has a road network of a total length of about 1,950 kms of which only 1120 kms are paved. The region has trunk roads of 260 kilometers length, 542 kms of regional roads and 578 kms of feeder roads. Out of those, 112 kms of regional roads and 98 Kms of feeder roads are not easily accessible during rainy season, and usually create transport complications for the city dwellers from Central Business District (CBD) to their place of residences (PMORALG, 2010.The majority of these roads are of poor surface conditions caused partly by lack of maintenance due to, among other factors, financial constraints. Moreover, most of these roads do not have walkways and bicycle-ways, leading to non-segregation of traffic. The existing road network in the city is inadequate to satisfy the city's densification and expansion.

1 Swahili word referring to a motorcycle used for transport business

2 Swahili word referring to a three wheeled vehicle powered by an engine

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Burdened with the rapid population growth and city expansion, DSM transport sector depicts a situation where the gap between public transportation needs and provision is continuously widening (Olvera et al., 2003).This situation has been worsened as public transport is the only alternative for the majority poor or low income earners. Daladala3 is the main public transport used by many residents in DSM. Currently, there are about 9,541 daladala operating in the rgion (PMORALG, 2010). Despite their number, there is a shortage of public transport supply which has led to the emergence and growth of informal transport (paratransit) (Gwilliam, 2002). Paratransit operators have filled the gap between the demand for public transport and the decreasing supply and level of service of formal public transport services. Informal public transport dominates most of the public transport markets in developing countries (Armstrong-Wright, 1993; Gwilliam, 2002).

Thus urban transport in DSM and, to a lesser extent, in other urban areas is characterized by high levels of congestion, long uncomfortable commuting journeys, overcrowded buses, substantial air pollution, poor road safety, poor pedestrian environment, limited parking facilities and pedestrian pavements, limited urban road investment, and poor traffic management (NIP, 2011).

1.1 Background of the Study

Transport is one of the key sectors of the economy. It plays a critical role in day-to-day economic development activities. It serves as a catalyst in production as it facilitates movement of inputs to production points and evacuates products to storage or market places. Its role is critical to all aspects of social and economic life of society (NTP, 2011). Transport, especially road transport, is a fundamental need for people after food and housing.

3 The Swahili word referring to minibuses which provide transport services in a city or town

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Through an efficient, safe and affordable transport system, which provides choice in different modes of transport, accessibility of basic needs can be improved; many costs can be saved; productivity can be increased; and thus both human and economic development can be improved. In addition, reduced pollution, less required space for transport and improved road safety lead to improvement of the quality of life (Robin and Wytse, 2011).

Pacione et al; (2005) argued that ineffective and inefficient transport systems significantly limit economic development, social opportunities and societal interactions. Access to affordable and good quality public transport services is critical for the urban population, as lack thereof leads to economic, social and physical isolation (Department for International Development, 1999). The problem seems to affect low income-communities located in the city outskirts with inadequate access to public transport and





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