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New commuter bus service set to ease congestion

The Nairobi County government is set to introduce a commuter bus service in the city and its environs.

This is in a bid to inject professionalism in public transport and reduce congestion in the Central Business District (CBD).

Already, the county Assembly has approved the introduction of the buses with a capacity of not less than 62 passengers.

Known as mass transit buses, the service is expected to phase out smaller buses and matatus within the CBD which have been blamed for perennial traffic jams and chaos.

According to county secretary Lillian Ndegwa, though city residents may not enjoy tram services any time soon due to lack of infrastructure, the mass bus transport service will surely revolutionize commuting. 

A tram system is a rail-based transit that runs mainly or completely along streets, with relatively low capacity and frequent stops and is common in Europe.

“We do not have any plans to introduce trams any time soon since we do not have the infrastructure, but the long buses will be run professionally and the county government will have a stake,” she said.

“The professionalism will encourage many city residents to leave their vehicles at home and instead use the commuter buses,” Ms Ndegwa added.

And the ‘wonder buses’, free from chaos experienced in the liberal public transport will soon be available in the next two or three months, explained the county secretary, although she did not say how many would be introduced at the initial stages.

“It’s sort of an emergency,” she said explaining the dire need to have the mass transport buses available, perhaps recalling the recent strike by matatu owners about two weeks ago which paralyzed transport in the city and its environs.

“All plans are ready and even if the process will take longer than three months, it will not go beyond six months,” added Ms Ndegwa during an interview.

She said tenders for interested persons would soon be opened in the next two weeks with the county government expected to have a stake in the sector.

If the plans take root then city dwellers will enjoy seamless and organized public transport last seen during the defunct Kenya Bus Service era.