Three European financiers have committed 200 million euros (Sh23 billion) for the Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project whose assessment starts this week.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), European Union (EU) and the French Development Agency will each provide between Sh5 billion and Sh10 billion, though they said more is needed. “Next week we’ll have colleagues around to do an initial assessment on the BRT Line 3 together with the EU and the French Development Agency. It’s quite a complex project but those of us living here know it’s a priority,” said Head of the EIB Regional Representation in East Africa, Catherine Collin.
“We’ll be looking for other partners because this is a very large project. At the moment we have approximately Sh23 billion (200 million Euros) altogether secured but we’ll need more,” she added.
The BRT system is expected to improve Nairobi’s chaotic public transport where traffic jams are estimated to cost the Kenyan economy Sh100 billion annually.
The Government has identified five corridors for the establishment of BRT lines. However, the implementation has proved a headache for the Government.
Last year, lanes along Thika Highway were demarcated in preparation for the BRT with Government planning to order 64 high-capacity buses from South Africa at Sh1.6 billion, but this has not been done.
It was later reported that Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia had cut the orders by half to allow local assemblers to provide buses for the project.
Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the construction of the Sh65 billion JKIA-Westlands Expressway that will have one of the BRT lines.
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