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Traffic mess: 64 high capacity buses to arrive from South Africa

Transport secretary James Macharia has, yet again, changed tune on the planned acquisition of high capacity buses from local assemblers, instead opting to buy 64 units from South Africa.

Mr Macharia last week said the government is planning to source the buses from South Africa after local fabricators of passenger service vehicle bodies failed to meet the required specifications.

The buses are to be deployed on the already-marked Thika Super Highway and other major roads within the capital Nairobi.

“We are only acquiring the first batch from South Africa because the buses that were available did not conform to the KS-372- body building standards, but the rest will be sourced locally,” said Mr Macharia.

The move has upset local manufacturers who claim to have the capacity to supply the high capacity buses.

“We have the capacity to supply BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) vehicles using the new body building standards, we simply don’t understand why the government is going for South Africa,” said Isuzu East Africa CEO Rita Kavashe.

ARRIVE THIS MONTH

The first batch of the BRT vehicles, which had already been identified in South Africa, is expected to arrive this month.

The government will launch five BRT corridors in Nairobi in a move aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the capital.

Priority corridors include Limuru-Kangemi-CBD-Imara Daima –Athi River to Kitengela road.

Other motorways identified are Rongai, Bomas-CBD-Ruiru-Thika- Kenol-Murang’a road and Tala-Njiru-Dandora–CBD-Ngong road.

“The fourth line will run from Mama Lucy Hospital-Donholm to the CBD while final line also referred as ‘Nyati’ will start from Ridgeways on Kiambu road to Balozi and end up in Imara Daima,” said Mr Macharia.