The government has announced when it expects to receive high-capacity buses for use on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on the Thika Superhighway.
Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority (NaMATA) Director General Francis Gitau said the buses will be delivered by the end of the year. He said they are expecting 6 BRT high-capacity vehicles by December of this year.
Mr Gitau said the electric buses will be shipped in by private sector players.
“It will be an open process, we will have investor conferences to have people express interest in terms of the scope we will be specifying,” said DG Gitau.
Principal Secretary, State Department for Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga added: “We are making good progress. Electric buses will be procured via a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).”
The arrival of the buses has been delayed on several occasions, with the govt initially eyeing 64 buses from South Africa. It later revised the number by half to acquire the buses from local assemblers as well.
The govt then opted for electric buses, further delaying their arrival. PS Hinga noted that electric buses are a cheaper alternative and would reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority (NaMATA) has since released a schedule for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system.
The agency said it will first deploy 12 buses across five city routes christened Ndovu Line, Simba Line, Chui Line, Kifaru Line and Nyati Line.
The routes will cover Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD), Kenya’s financial hub of Upperhill and various city estates.
The BRT, which was to start operations by the second half of this year, is now expected to start operating on February 2022.
“The Thika Road BRT, which is government-funded, saw the communication plan delayed due to Covid-19 as we could not congregate like before. This led to shifting everything close to a year. But now we are moving forward to see it completed by February 2022,” said DG Gitau.