Stalled BRT project gets Sh3bn for pending bills

The Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) Station at Safari Park along Thika Superhighway.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Lawmakers have set aside Sh3 billion to clear pending bills owed to the contractor for the pilot phase of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)system.

The National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee said the money will also cater for completion of the remaining works on the stalled project in the financial year 2024/25.

“Additional Sh3 billion (development) to cater for pending bills and completion of the remaining works under BRT Line 2,” said the committee chaired by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro.

In addition to this allocation, Kenya expects to receive Sh1 billion in external financing for the project, which has already gobbled up billions of shillings to date, in the financial year 2024/25. The 27-kilometre BRT Line 2, dubbed Simba, is one of five lines under the BRT project. The line will run from Ruiru to the Kenyatta National Hospital through the Nairobi Central Business District.

The government through the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Namata) piloted the BRT system through the line. The pilot project began in August 2020 with the design works for the depots and stations and was expected to be completed by June 2022.

This saw the contractor undertake modification works on Thika Road to facilitate the operation of a segregated BRT lane. This entailed redesigning of the two innermost lanes of the existing road into BRT lanes and the erection of 10 middle island stations accessed using existing median strips and footbridges.

However, the project remains undone after the contractor abandoned the site following budget cuts that left it with pending bills running into billions of shillings. “The design speed of the BRT lanes will be an average of 30 km/h, achieving one of the highest average speeds globally, leading to significantly shorter travel times on the BRT corridor,” says Namata.

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