Aug 9, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Dar leads the way in modernised transport as Nairobi falters

Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (Dart) now has 210 BRT buses. Conversely, Nairobi’s dream of having dedicated lanes for the much-publicized BRT remains a board plan that leaves residents to their own devices.

In Kenya, public transport, particularly in Nairobi, is at a crossroads despite official promises there is no clear roadmap on how to proceed as the city fathers and national government have yet to agree on the BRT model to be adopted.

For almost a decade, the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority ( Namata) has promised to use BRT as a means of rapidly deploying a high-quality rapid transit system at a relatively low cost.

Just a few weeks before the date when the first BRT was to be implemented on Thika Road – on February 1st, 2022 – the infrastructure scaffolding along the busy road will remain the same.

In June, Namata promised Nairobi residents that the buses would start operating in February 2022 which remains a dream.

BRT, which was scheduled to start operations in the second half of 2021, had been pushed back to February 2022, said Namata general manager Francis Gitau.

Did then He blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for the delay but insisted residents will use BRT buses from early next year.

“The government-funded Thika Road BRT saw the Communication plan delayed due to Covid-19 as we were unable to gather as before. This resulted in everything being postponed by almost a year. But now we are making progress to have it ready by February 2022,” he said at the time.

Speaking to Nation.Africa, Mr Gitau said they plan to set up the BRT Nairobi depot in Kasarani to get ready to be by February.

“Due to some liquidity issues, we have been forced to delay and slow down with the contractor, but we are working to get back to work soon,” he said this week.< /p >

He promised to provide more information but had not done so as of the time of publication.

Like Dar es Salaam’s, the Nairobi BRT is run by the private sector and not the government . However, it is still not clear who will own the buses.

The government plans to establish six BRT corridors in Nairobi.

Priority corridors are Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Likoni Road; James Gichuru-Rironi; and Bomas to Ruiru. Other highways include Ngong Road, Juja, Mama Lucy, T-Mall and Balozi-Imara.

The corridors are expected to accommodate up to 950 heavy-duty buses, which will reduce travel time and costs by up to 70 per one cents.

Kenya is trying to offer a private company a 12-year concession to operate the BRT system on the Thika and Mombasa roads to relieve traffic in Nairobi.

But Kenya’s plans remain in the planning stages, in 2021, the multi-billion shillings project in Tanzania got a big boost after the government released 70 buses detained at the port of Dar es Salaam.

The vehicles worth €134 million was released by Dar Amos Makalla, Es Salaam Regional Commissioner, who received the vehicles and put them into operation to ease the nightmares of commuter transport.

The buses have transformed the fleet into the 21st century .1 km long BRT network expanded.

Dart spokesman Wi lliam Gatambi told The Citizen that the number of buses on BRT’s routes had increased to 210 after the decision.

“This has enabled BRT to introduce four new feeder routes , compared to the past when we had two. The new feeder routes are Kibaha-Kimara, Mlonganzila-Kimara and Magufuli-Kimara, Mwenge via Morocco,” he said.

In Kenya, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia told Parliament in 2019 that the government Will spend $5.8 billion to build a heavy-duty bus lane on Thika Road to ease Nairobi’s congestion.

“Design infrastructure will be managed by Kenha (The Kenya National Highways Authority) has estimated the cost at Shillings 5.8 billion,” Mr Macharia told the National Assembly Transport Committee.

Kenha is overseeing the project, one of the five corridors of the BRT system planned in Nairobi.

< p>A Park and Ride facility will be set up in Kasarani, where drivers going to the city center can leave their vehicles and use BRT buses for the rest of the journey.

In 2020 Stecol Corporation, formerly known as SinoHydro Tianjin Engineer ing Company Ltd, signed a memorandum of understanding to build the long-awaited tem BRT system, which will support the city’s rickety public transport services and help alleviate congestion.

The project will start from the KNH terminal to Ruiru Station Depot and is approximately 17 miles long. The dedicated BRT line is about 20.18 km long.

Mr. Gitau said in a previous interview that there will be 13 intermediate stations with 24 platforms along the line (two-tier interchange stations reserved for future lines ). are not counted in this project) and KNH Terminal, Ruiru Depot and Kasarani Depot.

“Ten existing pedestrian bridges are currently being modified by adding stairs in the middle to allow passengers to enter and exit the stations he added.

Nation.Africa has observed that work at the designated BRT stations at Garden City, Safari Park, Roysambu, Clayworks, Kahawa Barracks and Kenyatta University appears to have stalled and there no further activity has taken place for more than a month.

The red barriers that littered the highway were removed after becoming a hazard to motorists, leaving only the concrete barriers, although they were up the sidewalks have been relocated.

In Tanzania, the Dart system has bus lanes that are separated from other traffic, mostly in the middle of the road to avoid congestion.

Payment of tickets and control takes place at stations rather than on board, while step-free stations and boarding make the entire route wheelchair or stroller accessible.


Morogoro Road was Phase I of the BRT project. Phase II runs along Nyerere Road to the south-west, while Phase III, under construction, will install bus lanes on Kilwa Road to the south. Phase IV towards Bagamoyo to the north is in preliminary design.


Additional coverage from The Citizen< /p>