Murkomen: First line of BRT to be ready by December 2024
Motorists in Nairobi will continue waiting for the stalled Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project which is expected to ease traffic congestion in the city.
This after Cabinet Secretary for Transport Kipchumba Murkomen announced that the first line of the BRT will be in use in December 2024.
Murkomen made the announcement on Monday night when he delivered a keynote speech at the Ministerial Session on Investing in Green Transportation at the Africa Climate Summit.
“Among the measures we are undertaking include the roll-out of a Bus Rapid Transit system, with the first line set to be ready for use by December 2024,” Murkomen said.
According to the Cabinet Secretary, the government will offer incentives to encourage the purchase of electricity-powered engines, expansion of commuter rail networks with a plan to move to light rail, development of non-motorized transport systems and effecting corrective structural adjustments on our roads to reduce road accidents.
Murkomen’s sentiments come just months after MPs said Chinese companies involved in the Sh5.58 billion BRT project in Nairobi have not offered value for money.
The two Chinese construction firms – STECOL Corporation in a joint venture with SMEDI – were contracted by the government to construct the 27.4-kilometre Ruiru-Nairobi Central Business District- Kenyatta National Hospital BRT on February 12, 2020.
The construction is overseen by the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Namata) and was to last 18 months.
However, more than three years down the line, the project is yet to be completed, with the government having already pumped in Sh951.8 million in advance payment. The completion date was extended by 37.5 months to September 15.
The project, according to the contractor is 55 per cent complete and the government is required to pay Sh1.97 billion for the work done so far.
This will bring the government’s entire expenditure on the project to Sh2.9 billion, inclusive of the advance payment.
The BRT project has five lines – Ndovu, Simba, Chui, Kifaru and Nyati – all interlinked within the Nairobi CBD. Phase I of the project involved the 23.7-kilometre Ruiru-Nairobi CBD line, with Phase II being the 3.7-kilometre line from CBD to KNH.
The fate of the project, which was supposed to be the pride of Nairobi alongside the busy Nairobi Expressway, now lies with the current government.
BRT is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services at metro-level capacities.
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