Construction of the long-awaited Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is set to begin next month after Chinese firm Stecol Corporation secured a Sh5.6 billion tender.

The Ministry of Transport and Public Works awarded the multi-billion shilling contract last week, paving the way for the construction of special lanes for high-capacity buses through the Nairobi city centre and Thika highway.

“We signed the contract last week and the contractor is mobilising to commence next month for the first phase covering the corridor from Clayworks to Haile Selassie and then to Kenyatta National Hospital. That should be done after eight months,” Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga told the Business Daily.

The daily reports that Stecol Corporation will begin by demarcating sections of Thika highway to be remodelled to accommodate support facilities such as of boarding stations and footbridges.

The existing footbridges on Thika highway will guide the placement of the initial stations for the BRT system.

A major park-and-ride terminus will be put up at Kasarani to allow private vehicle users to leave their cars and proceed to town with the BRT.

The PS said the BRT project would involve dedicating the two innermost lanes of the highway to special high-capacity buses and erecting boarding ramps to ease access to the buses.

It will comprise 100 buses that will be run by private operators but regulated by the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NaMATA).