Gov’t now says BRT buses will arrive in December


Gov't now says BRT buses will arrive in December
The Business Rapid Transit lane on Thika Superhighway. PHOTO| COURTESY

The government has once again made a promise to have high capacity buses ready for use in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project by the end of the year.

This follows previous promises and deadlines that have fallen short.

In the new promise, the government says it is eyeing 60 BRT high capacity vehicles to be delivered by the end of the year. This time round though, the target being electric buses.

According to Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority (NaMATA) Director General Francis Gitau, the expected 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.

In January this year, NaMATA released a schedule of routes the buses would use when they land. It then said it would first deploy 12 buses across five routes it christened Ndovu Line, Simba Line, Chui Line, Kifaru Line and Nyati Line.

Initially, the government wanted to acquire 64 buses from South Africa, later revising the number by half to buy from local assemblers as well.

Further, Gitau says that the second phase of the project which will be along Mombasa Road will be done at the same time as the construction of the expressway meaning the first and second phases will be completed at the same time.

Unlike the previous plan where the BRT line was separated by a red line along the outermost lane of the highway, this time round there will be a permanent separation to allow for faster movement of the BRT buses.

“Everywhere we’re going to do BRT is going to be demarcated…and the demarcation must be innovative because there could be emergencies so we’re breaking the demarcations at 50-meter intervals,” said Gitau.

The first phase of the project will be 27 km long, running from Ruiru to the CBD with 10 stations along the way.

At the Kasarani substation, there will be dedicated parking for personal vehicles, with the users taking their BRT buses to various destinations.

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Story By Faizal Ahmed
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