ISUZU EA unveils first BRT buses to be used around Nairobi and its environs

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An example of the special lanes created for the BRT project.
An example of the special lanes created for the BRT project. PHOTO/COURTESY

Isuzu East Africa on Monday unveiled two high capacity buses for the proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) system whose aim is to decongest Nairobi Roads.

According to Isuzu EA Managing Director Rita Kavashe; who was speaking during a summit between the car manufacturer and matatu operators in Nairobi, the buses adhere to global BRT standards.

“The buses were assembled in Kenya and they adhere to international standards since we used other BRT systems as a guide during the assembly process,” said Ms. Rita Kavashe.

Furthermore, Ms. Kavashe insisted that assembling the buses should be encouraged locally to create more job opportunities in the industry.

Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai, who was also in attendance supported the BRT initiative terming it as a necessary scheme that would help in the decongesting of Nairobi roads.

“We fully back the initiative since it includes all Public Service Vehicles. Lanes for the BRT systems will be accessible to PSVs only and private vehicle owners will have no option but to use the cheaper BRT systems which will reduce city traffic during peak hours,” said Mr. Kimutai.

The two buses which have a capacity of 62-100 passengers, make up the first batch of BRT vehicles that will be used to ease congestion in the city and its environs.

At the start of the year, the government announced that it would opt for BRT systems borrowed from Colombia’s bus rapid transit model in Bogota to support its rickety public commuter services and ease congestion, a plan that will see creation of special lanes dedicated to more efficient buses.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Namata) has already mapped out roads in and outside the city center that will have lanes reserved for the high capacity buses.  Within town the roads include: Haile Selassie, Moi Avenue, Kenyatta Avenue and University Way.

Outside the City the following roads will have lanes reserved for the BRT buses. They include: Thika superhighway, Jogoo Road, Mombasa Road and Outer Ring Road.

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