Commuter insights: Bajajs in Dar es Salaam

Our latest white paper, understanding the mobility ground truth in Dar es Salaam, explores the public transport modes that people in Tanzania’s most-populous city use to get around. One of those modes is bajajsauto-rickshaws typically used by commuters and children travelling to school.

Daladalas in Dar es Salaam

Think public transport in Dar es Salaam and the first thing that might spring to mind is the city’s unmissable and extensive network of colourful minibuses — daladalas — or its iconic passenger motorcycles — bodabodas.

However, bajajs are an increasingly dominant component of public transport in Dar es Salaam, seen as being cheaper and safer than other modes. The name ‘bajaj’ comes from Jamnalal Bajaj, the Indian industrialist who founded Bajaj Auto in 1926. According to AutoJosh, the company is the sixth largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world.

Auto-rickshaws in Hyderabad, India

Similar to those seen in most Indian cities (including Hyderabad, for which WhereIsMyTransport offers mobility and location data) auto-rickshaws in Dar es Salaam have become a popular form of transport to travel around the city’s less-developed areas, including unrecognised or unpaved streets. Commuters using this mode of transport benefit from being able to bring their luggage, travel down narrow streets and share the journey with others.

Bajajs are privately owned, and can be run by anyone, as long as they are officially registered as public transport. A mode designed for destination-specific journeys, Bajajs are more affordable than taxis, but more expensive than daladalas .

Bajajas are banned in the central business district, and were nearly banned altogether in 2008, before being reinstated due to the objections of locals.

Uncovering informal modes like these is a crucial part of our mission at WhereIsMyTransport.

Digitalising complete network information means every mode of public transport of every operational style, turning local knowledge into data that helps people understand movement and place in Dar es Salaam.

Discover more about how people travel around Dar es Salaam in our white paper.

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