An organisation that has estimated that Nairobi will require Sh. 100 billion to implement the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system to ease traffic congestion in Kenya’s capital.
The Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), which was involved in establishing the BRT system in Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg, has said that the planned Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system will cost Sh. 100 billion.
ITDP which provides technical expertise on transport and planning to governments has affirmed that having dedicated lanes for public transport as well as the right vehicles would reduce traffic in and out of the city.
Christopher Kost, the Africa director of ITDP said the city must put in place systems for fare collection pre-boarding and stations that have platforms level with the buses which are wheelchair accessible must also be in place.
“We need a dedicated right of way for the buses, not just paint,” Mr Kost said during a policy forum in the BRT system held Tuesday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta wants at least two stages of the system ready by December 12 when he plans to ride on one of the buses during the Jamhuri Day celebrations.
Initial designs from 2015 show the BRT system, will have five interconnected lines named after Kenya’s Big Five animals; Ndovu (elephant), Kifaru (rhino), Simba (lion), Chui (leopard), and Nyati (buffalo).
The buses are expected to ease movement of city commuters to and from the suburbs and ease Nairobi’s chronic traffic jams.
The government expects to draw financial backing for the MRTS from various organizations including the World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Last week the EU allocated Sh. 5billio grant to go towards the implementation of the project.
According to Gauff Ingenieure, a consulting and engineering company, the BRT is projected to initially have 600 buses plying the five lines totalling 86 km around the city. Mr. Kost said the project would take 5 to 10 years to implement. He also said that ITDP has been working with the government to ensure the current roads are designed to accommodate the implementation of the BRT system.
About 4 million people using matatus ply more than 130 routes to and from Nairobi City daily.