Saturday, February 26, 2011

What transport stakeholders say about Ubungo Bus terminal

Stakeholders through Tanzania Bus Owners Association have ever asked for the government’s intervention as the owners of the yard in order to curb with the escalating habits, but their efforts have since ended up in vain. Commenting on the issue, TABOA’s Chairperson Mr. Mohammed Abdullah has critically blamed the government for maintaining silence on the issue of touts who have become a threat to the passengers at the Ubungo Bus terminal. “We are strongly objecting the presence of touts at the bus terminal, and in view of this, we are therefore requesting the government to take legal stern measures which would help evict them out of the yard”, he said last week in an exclusive interview. The Chairperson insisted that, “since the yard belongs to the government, and they as TABOA have hired the area, therefore, the responsibility of removing the troublesome touts in the area is entirely upon the government”. He refuted the allegations of the existing registered association which stands for touts as legal members as earlier claimed by them, the truth about the matter is that, there is no such an association whatsoever as recognized by legal authority to be tout’s association. However, he has also blamed passengers, who he said are sometimes at fault in one way or another.

According to him, passengers embraces touts for help, and consequently are easily tempted and absorbed by their words when approaching the terminal. In view of this, he has therefore appealed to the passengers to make sure that, they report at the respective booking offices directly to enquire for information and get legal tickets whenever they arrange for the journey and should not depend on touts to get tickets.
Passengers should not be worried about the booking offices which are indicated by numbers according to their respective routes to where they applies. In this way, he says is the only way to avoid confusion that sometimes occurs to new passengers at the terminal. About theft, the TABOA boss has blamed the police force at the terminal who tend not to take a kin interest on the matter and instead tend to keep quite and never help those passengers who have fallen victims whenever reports of theft reach them. He has therefore called on appropriate police safety. The Ubungo Bus Terminal which became operational since 2001 has a vastness of over 100,000 square meters and is capable of accommodating about 600 buses at a time. The terminal has a total of 53 booking offices and over 100 transport companies in the yard. Other facilities which are found in the yard includes, petrol stations, hotels, bars, shops, lavatories and bathing rooms. All these are projects hired to individual groups by the government through the Dar es Salaam City Council (DCC) The statistics made available by the TABOA shows that, about 8 to 10 million people travels by buses countrywide. This is about 20-25 percent of the country’s total population.

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