State to spend Sh5b in decongesting Nairobi

Friday, January 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Traffic police. Photo/PD/File

The government will spend Sh5 billion to rehabilitate four railway lines and construction of bus rapid transport (BRT) lanes as part of the ongoing programme to ease traffic in Nairobi.

The gridlock in the capital is so bad that Nairobi was ranked the fourth most congested city in the world.

Man-hours wasted in traffic jams is considerable when looked at lost productive time and fuel could run into billions annually.

Housing and Urban Development PS Charles Hinga yesterday said while cash for rehabilitation of roads was in the last supplementary budget, the transport ministry will seek cash for three Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) in the next financial year.

Speaking during a budgetary public sector hearing for the financial year 2020/21 to 2021/23 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF), Hinga said the railway network will be centred at the Nairobi Central Railway Station, enabling passengers to connect to Athi River, Ruiru, Kikuyu and Pipeline estates, and alighting at 10 stations along the routes already constructed.

“The good news is that 10 stations on those four lines are already complete. We are now in the process of bringing in rolling stock (carriages),putting in a ticketing system and rehabilitating the lines to start providing a reliable transport system,” he said.

Hinga said the first phase of the project to be launched soon will end at Ruiru, but with several stopovers along the way at Dandora, Mwiki, Githurai and Kahawa routes.

Mass Rapid Transport

The train en-route to Pipeline will stop at Donholm and Embakassi areas, while that to Athi River will see passengers disembark at Imara Daima and Syokimau.

In addition to a railway network, Hinga said funds have also been mobilised to enable the Government to start constructing the MRTS project.

“On the question of BRT, we have not abandoned it. Again, it is a question of resource mobilisation,” he said.

The three projects lined up under venture will see construction of BRT lanes along Thika Road, Dandora to the Show Ground through Juja Road and along Outer Ring Road in Nairobi’s Eastland area.

European Union Funded

According to Hinga, Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority (NMTA) will get Sh1 billion for the construction of a BRT lane on Thika Road in the next financial year.

The Cabinet has also approved construction of a BRT line from Dandora to the Show Ground through Juja Road that will be funded by the European Union (EU), and whose contract agreement is in the final stages of approval.

“We have also received some funding from Korea to do BRT on Outer Ring Road. So as you can see, it is an issue of resource mobilisation but am here to assure you that in the next couple of months, you will be seeing a lot of efforts to decongest the city. We are starting with the railway network first and then we go to BRT,” he said.

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