The national government has pushed forward the introduction of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system for Thika Road and Nairobi Central Business District (CBD).
According to Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Namata) acting director-general Francis Gitau, BRT system will be completed by the end of August.
The trial phase will then start in December before the full launch. The buses were to be introduced in June, but the slow pace of the construction process has derailed that plan.
“We have already embarked on the importation of buses and operational lease for the testing phase,” Gitau stated during an interview with NTV.
Gitau also announced plans to review the fare model for BRT buses. He explained that the new model would be affordable considering the household’s earnings.
“Once we have homogeneity of services, NAMATA through the Ministry of Transport will develop a fare structure based on households and affordability,” he stated.
In February, Namata announced that commuters would be required to pay Ksh150, double what passengers pay on public service vehicles (PSVs).
The amount was to be levied on passengers using the Kasarani-Kenyatta National Hospital route with the new buses. They also proposed restricting cash on the buses.
On the operating system, Gitau explained that the central station on the BRT system would be based in Kasarani. It would be fitted with intelligent systems, including CCTVs, to monitor the buses.
“We are also safeguarding the fare box where committers pay before using the service. We are also going to test out fast management strategy. Such as installing CCTV and having the monitoring centre at Kasarani,” Gitau explained.
The other station in Nairobi CBD will allow commuters to board and alight.
In addition, Gitau explained that NMS plans to build 10 other sub-stations linked with other city infrastructural systems, including the railway line.
The BRT line will be privately operated, but the government will help by informing policies.
BRT corridors are expected to hold up to 100 high-capacity buses which will increase to 300 in subsequent orders.
The new system is meant to improve Nairobi’s public transport network and complement the matatu sector.