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conference yesterday that the amount of income has been increasing to the point that the project can now be said to be making a profit.

He said since posting an initial income of 800 million/- in its first month (May 2016), monthly revenue increased to about 2bn/- a month, and by December last year had hit the 3bn/- mark.

“The total amount of income collected from May when the project started to December was 19bn/-...there is profit and no loss,” the minister asserted.

But he said to determine the exact amount of profit gained so far will require a thorough calculation since various operational costs need to be subtracted first. These include payments to the project administrator (DART), revenue collector (Max Malipo), and project manager (NMB), along with security, water and electricity costs.

The actual profit can be known after all these costs have been removed, Simbachawene said.

Elaborating further, he said: “DART alone now receives 8m/- per day from the earlier 4.4m/- they were getting. That means DART receives 200m/- per month and they are able to pay for water and electricity...this clearly shows there is no loss.”

The BRT project, formally inaugurated by President Magufuli on Wednesday, has already cost at least $290 million (over 600bn/-) for Phase One only and the president told DART officials to ensure it eventually turns in a profit to reflect the money and effort invested so far and still to be invested.

“In my outlook, there is no definition for making a loss. So if this project makes a loss, it is your loss, not my government’s loss," Magufuli said, adding: "And be informed that it will cost you your jobs.”

According to the president, DART is a unique project of its kind in Africa, and therefore a close eye needs to be kept on its operations to ensure it remains viable.

Phase One of the BRT project officially began operations in May last year and, according to minister Simbachawene, has created at least 962 jobs, with more than 200,000 commuters using the transport on a daily basis.

The privately-owned Simon Group company has a majority (51 per cent) stake in UDA-RT - the company actually running the project - while the government holds the remaining 49 per cent shares.

The grand plan is to build, in six phases, a 130km BRT system covering over 90 per cent of Dar es Salaam, in a bid to solve the city’s chronic traffic congestion problems - seen as costing the entire national economy dearly - once and for all.

Meanwhile, Simbachawene issued a three-day ultimatum for vendors who have developed the habit of conducting their business within DART infrastructure to move out.

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