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February 19, 2019

Uhuru gives executive order for creation of metropolitan transport authority

A morning traffic jam on Thika Superhighway, November 17, 2016. /ENOS TECHE
A morning traffic jam on Thika Superhighway, November 17, 2016. /ENOS TECHE

The President has ordered the creation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority that covers Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Murang’a.

President Uhuru Kenyatta gave the executive order on Friday, in line with provisions of the State Corporations Act.

State House noted in a statement that NAMATA is a bold and visionary policy intervention aimed at alleviated the city's transport challenges.

"For the first time in our nation’s history, [we have a policy that] provides a comprehensive and dynamic platform for addressing the decades-old challenges in the transport sector that have bedeviled the metropolitan area," read the statement.

Read: Nairobi bus rapid transit not possible, Transport CS Macharia says

The authority resulted from presidential interventions and directives issued since 2013. They are geared towards positively redefining Nairobi and the wider metropolitan area that includes the other counties.

State House said NAMATA will write an integrated public transport strategy based on the development of a sustainable urban mobility plan.

This will be informed by the need for the orderly and structured development of the proposed metropolitan area mass-transit system, which incorporates both bus rapid-transit and commuter rail.

"These elements are part of the administration’s wider plan of improving Kenya’s transport infrastructure as a spur for social and economic development," read the statement.

"The metropolitan area has experienced rapid growth over the last three decades but there has not been commensurate focus on providing sufficient and sustainable transport options for the area’s visitors and residents."

NAMATA was formed based on the MoU signed in August 2013 between the government, through the Transport ministry and the Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Machakos and Kajiado governments.

State House said a statute will be enacted for the establishment of a fully-fledged authority with expanded powers and a broader mandate.

Read: Kenya should invest in alternate transport to manage traffic in cities

Also read: Nairobi unveils radical measures for easier traffic flow

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