They will resume at 3p.m. and end the day's service at 8.00 p.m.However, not all parts of the city outskirts will benefit, and the lucky areas are those that can access the lines heading to Pugu, Kurasini and Ubungo Maziwa. It is hoped that once these lines (Pugu, Kurasini and Ubungo Maziwa) are fully operational, traffic jams which have become a menace to motorists, will ease to a large extent.
As city residents welcome this good news with fanfare on Sunday, it's fair enough to say that there have been brains behind the project and people who made things happen. One of such hard working people is none other than the Minister for Transport Dr Harrison Mwakyembe who has relentlessly made a follow up on every step of the project with the TRL.
He has personally toured various train destinations and inspected TRL workshop to get updates on the progress of repairs of locomotives. He still makes it a point to be present when the trains officially roll off on Sunday, to witness a dream come true. He worked with a determined team and all of them deserve to be congratulated.
But as city residents await this historic moment, it is worth mentioning that safety in areas where the railway lines traverse is still wanting. It's an issue that has been pending for too long. First, there are stubborn petty traders scattered at various spots of the lines, and Buguruni and Tabata are such dangerous areas. While the city militia managed to clear Ubungo and Mbezi bus terminals of petty traders, they need to move in sooner than later, to ensure the railways are free from the invaders.
There is also the problem of houses built near the railways by people who took advantage of a long time suspension of railway transportation in Dar es Salaam. No one can guarantee the safety of their children, or that of their houses in case an accident occurred.
Another challenge that needs immediate attention is the installation of traffic control signals at railway crossings. The city happens to have too many cars and careless drivers. In the past, some fatal accidents occurred when a bus or car obviously driven by reckless drivers hit a train. Vehicles will have to be forcefully stopped to give way to the trains.
A long term strategy may require high class compartments. This will entice executives not willing to use public transport to change their mind and jump on board.Doing so will eventually decongest the city roads. For, it may surprise authorities that even with the trains in place, traffic jams may still be a problem because many people fancy driving their own cars, rather than use the not so clean, public transport.
In the long run however, many people will prefer the train to daladala, as they are a faster means of transport. Which goes further to suggest that the daladala would be thrown out of business and leave the city. Big up to the transport ministry.