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Govt locks out petrol buses from BRT project

The government has locked out petrol and diesel buses from the bus rapid transport (BRT) project which will be launched on Thika and Mombasa roads mid this year.

The move is part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Only electric and some hybrid vehicles, which use a mixture of electric and fossil fuel and those that use biofuels like hydrogen and biogas, will be deployed on the dedicated lane for large-capacity buses to ease traffic congestion.

“We want to lead from the front when it comes to the fight against climate change. We have an opportunity to move from rhetoric to actualizing this aspiration,” said Housing and Urban Development PS Charles Hinga.

On Monday, the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Namata) invited sealed tenders from original Bus manufacturers, motor vehicle dealers, leasing companies, financial institutions, and interested firms for the provision of buses and transport services for the BRT Project through Leasing.

According to Namata, the buses are to be considered in three options based on propulsion technology which are Biodiesel, Hybrid and Electric.

BRT is designed to improve a city’s public transport network relative to conventional buses and is expected to reduce travel time and cost by up to 70 percent.

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

The first BRT was to be implemented on Thika Road – on February 1, 2022 – the infrastructure skeletons remain the same along the busy road.

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

Kenya is seeking to offer a private firm a 12-year concession to run the BRT system on Thika and Mombasa roads to ease traffic in Nairobi.

“The buses are to be considered in three options based on propulsion technology (namely) biodiesel, hybrid, electric and the options for sale or a proposed lease tenure covering a three, seven and 12 years period,” said the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Namata) acting director-general, Francis Gitau, in a notice published in local dailies.

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