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City’s mass transit system to be delayed

The much–hyped mass transit bus system meant to serve residents of Nairobi City County will not be in place in June after all.

The Chief Officer in charge of Roads, Transport and Public Works Christine Ogut told a public gathering during a presentation of the county budget at City Hall that planning for the system was still in the formative stages and that no budgetary allocation has been made for it.

Ms Ogut further clarified that the introduction of the bus system will be consultative and in line with the procurement procedures in place which cannot be exhausted between now and June.

“The project whose aim is to decongest the central business district is at the planning stage with the procurement process expected to follow later which will take a bit of time”, she said.

Pressed to state whether the June date set for the commencement of the project was viable, Ms Ogut said that experience had shown that the procurement process in this country takes a while following the stringent rules in place.

This is contrary to sentiments by the embattled Executive Member for Transport Evans Ondieki who has promised the system will be in place by June to decongest the CBD and regularize fares.

Mr Ondieki’s plan was to have to 200 buses ply the major routes and charge a flat rate of Sh35 to all destinations.

The number of buses was projected to increase to more than 2,000 in three years.

However cracks have emerged over the bus system with the county assembly members claiming they have been kept in the dark yet they were supposed to approve the budget to finance the project.

They now accuse Mr Ondieki of arrogance and poor performance and have filed a motion of censure that will be coming up for debate this afternoon.

On Monday, Ms Ogut assured operators of PSV that the aim was not to kick them out of business but to reorganize the public transport in the city.