Dar es Salaam — Passengers planning to travel by bus to Arusha and Moshi for the festive season should have no trouble doing so. This is if only because the number of buses ferrying travellers to those destinations in northern Tanzania have been substantially increased.
The director of road transport at the Surface and Marine Transport Authority (Sumatra),Mr Johansen Kahatano, told The Citizenover the 'phone yesterday that three bus companies have already applied for temporary routes licences to and from Arusha, via Moshi.
"Until, yesterday (Wednesday), thirteen buses with the capacity of carrying more than 50 passengers each have been given a temporary licence to operate on the Dar es Salaam-Moshi-Arusha route," Mr Kahatano said.
According to him, as Christmastide approaches,more bus transport companies are projected to apply for that particular route, as well as for other upcountry destinations.
Recently, Sumatra invited bus operators to apply for temporary transport route licences to carry people to and from various destinations during the festival season.
Among the routes that were expected to attract bus operators to take up the opportunity that comes but once a year are those leading to Mwanza, Mbeya, Dodoma,Bukoba - and, of course, Moshi and Arusha.
The Sumatra public relations officer, Mr Salum Pazzy, said the move is intended to ensure that there are enough buses going upcountry from Dar es Salaam, thus avoiding a scenario that would cause hardships to intending travelers.
Mr. Pazzy stressed that this particular festive season will be different because only big buses will be allowed to transport passengers to and from the administrative regions. This is unlike the past when small buses with the capacity to carry only 28-to-30 passengers were allowed to operate on such routes.
However, Sumatra reminded those who expect to travel during festive season to book their trips early, to avoid inconveniences and unnecessary challenges to travelling during the festive season.