BRT slow but surely coming, CS Macharia assures

BRT is an expensive affair which we are still working on, the CS said.

In Summary

•Macharia acknowledged that the Sh100 billion project has been on a go slow but will soon be fast-tracked.

•"BRT is an expensive affair which we are still working on.We have three lines which are in the process of implementing," the CS said.

Transport CS James Macharia
Transport CS James Macharia

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has assured Kenyans that the dream of having a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Nairobi will be realised despite the delay. 

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Macharia acknowledged that the Sh100 billion project has dragged but will soon be fast-tracked.

"BRT is an expensive affair which we are still working on. We have three lines which we are in the process of implementing," the CS said.

Kenya has for long planned to roll out the transport system, has failed to attract potential investors.

Five BRT corridors in Nairobi form part of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan being implemented to ease traffic congestion in the Nairobi.

BRT Line 1 will run from Limuru-Kangemi-CBD-Imara Daima-Athi River and Kitengela.

Line 2 from Rongai-Bomas-Langata Road-CBD-Ruiru-Thika and Kenol.

Line 3, called Chui, will run from Tala-Njiru-Dandora (Juja Road)-CBD-Show Ground (Ngong Road) and Ngong.

Line 4, called Kifaru, is comprised of East and West. The East one will run from Mama Lucy Hospital-Donholm (Jogoo Road)-CBD, while the West from CBD- T Mall-Bomas-Karen and Kikuyu.

BRT Line 5, which is also called Nyati, will traverse Ridgeways (Kiambu Road)-Balozi (Allsops) and Imara Daima.

Once complete, all the corridors are expected to hold up to 950 high capacity buses.

In February, the government assured Kenyans that it would roll out BRT by June but the plan was not realised.

World Bank in a recent report claimed poor institutional policies form part of reasons BRT system has failed to take off in Kenya.

"...Unregulated competition from para-transit operators (informal buses, minibuses, and taxis, etc), difficulty of finalising compensation deals and acrimonious relationships between para-transit operators and the government in SSA affect system revenue," the World Bank said in a report released in August.

National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani allocated Sh1.2 billion towards implementation of the project in the 2022-23 budget.

He said the transport system will reduce travel time and air pollution in the country's capital.

Last year, the government borrowed Sh6.4 billion from the Korean government to finance the project.

The loan from the Korean Export and Import Bank will be serviced by taxpayers until January 29, 2061 and will attract an interest rate Sh0.1 per cent per annum and a service charge of Sh0.1 per cent per annum.

In February this year, the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority  advertised for the supply of BRT buses for the first phase.

The buses sold or leased for three, seven and 12 years, will be considered based on propulsion technology that includes biodiesel, hybrid and electric.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star