Govt Starts Mass Buying of Electric Buses for BRT Transport

  • The government, through the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NaMATA), has begun the process of purchasing electric and fuel buses for the Nairobi Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system.

    In an advertisement ran in local dailies on Tuesday, February 1, NaMATA invited tenders from qualified motor vehicle manufacturers to supply the high capacity buses.

    The notice announced that the buses are destined for the BRT system which has been in the works for more than two years.

    Among the buses requested include electric, hybrid as well as biodiesel types with the city leaning towards green energy and climate conservation. 

    One of the BRT buses from Scania East African Company while on transit

    One of the BRT buses from Scania East African Company while on transit.

    NeMATA also indicated that it is seeking to purchase the vehicles or hold a lease of not less than 3 years.

    “Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NaMATA) invites sealed tenders from original bus manufacturers, motor vehicle dealers, leasing companies, financial institutions and interested firms for provision f buses and transport services for the BRT Project through leasing.

    “The buses to be considered in 3 options based on propulsion technology including electric, hybrid as well as biodiesel and other options be for sale or a proposed lease tenure of a three, seven and 12 years’ period,” read the statement in part.

    This comes amidst constant postponement of the BRT project which had initially been scheduled for completion in December 2021. 

    The agency had initially selected five highways to host the BRT system around the city including Haille Selassie Avenue, Uhuru Highway and Thika Road as well as city outbound routes of Ronga, Donholm and Kitengela.

    In January 2019, reports indicated that high capacity buses valued at Ksh1.6 billion were scheduled to be sourced from South Africa.

    At the time, the state claimed that local fabricators had failed to meet the standards demanded by the government in the latest transport project. The buses are, however, yet to arrive in the country. 

    An earlier schedule had also indicated that 12 buses would be deployed around the city in the first phase of the project which is yet to kick off.

    The country has nonetheless made strides in green transport after the continent’s one of a kind electric bus was launched in Kenya and is expected to start operations later this year.

    The bus was the first all-electric PSV as well as the first to be designed on the African Continent by Swedish-Kenyan company Opibus.

    Bus Rapid Transport buses assembled by Isuzu East Africa

    Bus Rapid Transport buses assembled by Isuzu East Africa


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