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Thika Road to have a dedicated lane for PSVs starting today.

A section of Thika Superhighway. PHOTO | FILE.

Beginning today, Thika Road will have one lane dedicated for public service vehicles.

While addressing the Senate's Roads Committee at an ongoing meeting, the Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the new plan was in line with the government's plan for a Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) to ease traffic flow on major roads in the city.

Macharia added that the plan shall include a commuter and light rail option as the government plans to also introduce high-capacity buses of up to 100 passengers.

“Commencing next week, we shall have dedicated lanes for these buses starting with those operated by NYS servicemen,” the CS said.

He pointed out that these plans were at an advanced stage and the first batch of about 50 buses should be deployed in the next 4 weeks. Macharia said apart from the NYS buses, the private sector is expected to bring in another 100 buses with three months.

“These buses from the private sector will complement the already existing ones. We are discussing with National Treasury on duty waivers in order to fast track this initiative,” he said.

Thika Road is one of six corridors into the city identified by the authorities in a bid to reduce congestion in the capital city. 

“We need more than 900 buses in these six corridors and because we don’t have them, we have opened one corridor, the Thika highway. From Thursday, we are starting the demarcation and dedication of that lane,” Macharia said.

He said the expected effects would be a reduction of fares.

The plan comes amid outcry among matatu sector players who have objected the move to introduce NYS buses on various routes in Nairobi. However, stakeholders had said the fare from Githurai, one of the densely populated areas, to the city centre should reduce to Sh40 at peak hours.

Tanzania is the only East African country that has successfully enforced the Bus Rapid Transit System through a project funded by the World Bank in 2015.

The BRT system was perceived as a critical investment that would end the crisis.

Currently, 28,000 passengers can be transported in Dar es Salaam in one direction per hour or a maximum of 400,000 passengers in a single day.

The project on a 29.9 KM road network created 800,000 job entries and the buses on exclusive lanes cruise at a speed of 50km/h.

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