25 May 2018

Kenya: Buses for New Transport System to Arrive in June

Photo: Kanyiri Wahito/Daily Nation
Road engineers dedicate a lane on Thika Road designated for bus rapid transit system, on April 5, 2018.

The first batch of 30 bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicles bought at a cost of Sh500 million will arrive in the country by end of next month and be deployed on the already marked Thika Superhighway.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Thursday said that the vehicles had already been identified in South Africa.

"I sent my Principal Secretary to negotiate transactions for the purchase of the buses in South Africa. If all goes according to plan, the first batch will arrive by the end of June," he said.

When the BRT is fully operational, Nairobi will require 900 buses in all its transport corridors, he explained, adding that suppliers of the final batch had also been identified.

"We shall be looking for the balance from various sources, including local assemblers such as Isuzu. Already, we have engaged their management to start preparing for the next batch," he said.

MATATUS

The minister further revealed that the private sector, through the Matatu Owners Association (MOA), would be fully involved in running the project as that is not the duty of the government.

"Next Wednesday, we will meet MOA chairman Simon Kimutai to discuss the way forward in terms of them participating," the CS added.

At the same time, Mr Macharia announced that repairs on two dilapidated roads in Nairobi will start on Monday.

This comes after the Nation published a story on Monday highlighting the poor state of the roads in Industrial Area.

TRAFFIC

Mr Macharia said that a contractor was already on site to assess the extent of the damage and map out what is required to be done.

The work on the two roads is part of a project that includes the recarpeting of roads in the city centre and across the constituencies in Eastlands.

Meanwhile, private motorists will soon be required to leave their cars at home and use public transport as part of efforts to decongest the city.

This follows a proposal by the Nairobi Regeneration Committee to make every Wednesday and Saturday car-free days in the Central Business District (CBD) and at Westlands.

Mr Macharia, who is part of the committee made up of both the national and county governments and is co-chaired by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, said the proposal is aimed at decongesting the city.

"It is a Nairobi County initiative that is being supported by my ministry," he said.

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