A BRT station under construction on Thika Road
The completion of the Nairobi Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system on Thika Superhighway is taking longer due to financing delays, an official has said.
Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NAMATA) Director-General Eng. Francis Gitau told Citizen TV that the National Treasury is yet to release the final Sh3 billion required to complete the project, which was set to be operational by June 2022.
“If the resources are available, it can be done in six months. But the contractor has looked at our resource planning, if only a certain amount of money is available then this is the best he can do and I think we have been in agreement for the worst-case scenario to be nine months. We hope our people will continue to be patient,” Gitau said.
He further disclosed that the procurement of 100 high-capacity BRT buses is at an advanced stage.
"We received very powerful bids, we had four bids. It is still a procurement process you know administratively there are clearances that are administrative in government," he said.
Gitau has urged President Ruto’s administration to fast-track the implementation of the BRT project, which he said will revolutionize the public transport system.
Chinese construction company Stecol Corporation won the tender to install a BRT corridor on Thika Road at a cost of Sh5.6 billion. It started modifying the two innermost lanes of the highway to exclusively accommodate BRT buses.
The project also includes the construction of a parking lot at the Kasarani area for private car owners to leave their vehicles there and use the high-capacity buses for the remainder of the journey.
The government intends to put up at least six BRT corridors in Nairobi as part of its plan to decongest and improve the public transport system in the city.
The six BRT corridors include Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Likoni Road, James Gichuru-Rironi, Bomas to Ruiru roads, Ngong Road to Juja, Mama Lucy to T-Mall and Balozi to Imara roads.
When complete, the Transport Ministry said the corridors will accommodate up to 1,000 high-capacity buses, thus reducing travel time and cost by up to 70 percent.