Treasury allocates Sh5.5bn for building city bus lanes



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The Treasury has allocated Sh5.53 billion to be used in the construction of special lanes for high-capacity buses in efforts to decongest Nairobi roads.

Revised estimates for the current year show that the budget for urban and metropolitan development increased from Sh18.79 billion to Sh24.33 billion on account of bus rapid transit (BRT).

The cash injection will be a boost for the building of a BRT system that had stalled due to a lack of funds to put up supporting infrastructure and buy the high-capacity buses from South Africa.

The BRT system is generally designed to improve a city’s public transport network relative to conventional buses.

“Increase is on account of donor commitment and provision for procurement of bus rapid transport,” said the Treasury in the supplementary budget for the year ending June.

Government officials said earlier they would construct overhead pedestrian crossings every kilometre for passengers to access the pickup points on the special lanes.

Each bus is expected to have a capacity of about 160 passengers who will use cards for payment.

Kenya has opted for BRT system, to support its rickety public commuter services and ease congestion, a plan that will see the creation of special lanes dedicated to more efficient buses.

The transport agency had already mapped out five routes that will have the lanes reserved for buses.

In the city centre, the special lanes will be constructed along roads such as the Haile Selassie Avenue, Moi Avenue, Kenyatta Avenue and University Way, according to the agency’s designs.

Outside the central business district, the Nairobi transport agency has mapped out five routes including Thika Road, Jogoo Road, Mombasa Road and Outer Ring Road that will have the lanes reserved for the special buses.

In 2016, Dar became the first city in East Africa to launch a BRT system, which has helped ease public transport.

Dar completed the first phase of the 21km rapid transit system, which has five terminals, 27 stations, seven feeder and three connector stations. About 140 buses operate daily on the special lanes.

Nairobi has in recent years witnessed an explosion of cars that is unmatched by the expansion of roads.


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