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New BRT vehicles unveiled as operators call for fewer private cars

Tuesday October 16 2018

Isuzu East Africa's high-capacity buses. PHOTO

Isuzu East Africa's high-capacity buses. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JAMES KARIUKI
By JAMES KARIUKI
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Isuzu East Africa has launched two types of high-capacity vehicles for the planned bus rapid transit system (BRT) in Nairobi.

The two vehicles with a speed limit of 60 kilometres per hour can ferry between 62 and 100 passengers at a go.

Speaking during a one-day meeting with city commuter operators on Monday, Isuzu EA managing director Rita Kavashe said the buses have space for sitting and standing passengers, noting they were locally developed with consultation on BRT standards.

“Kenya has the capacity to manufacture these buses for our cities and this should be encouraged since it will create jobs as well as enable operators easily access credit finance to fund acquisition of the buses,” she said.

The high capacity vehicles’ specifications have since been formulated and gazetted.

Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai said the BRT system should be fast-tracked to give Kenyans a quality and safe transport service that will discourage use of private vehicles largely blamed for causing congestion at peak hours.

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“We support BRT as it includes all public service vehicles (PSVs) and must start off with segregating lanes for all PSV where private vehicle owners are barred. That will discourage private vehicle owners from using their costly vehicles leaving them at home in favour of the cheap BRT vehicles that we are ready to invest in,” he said.

Nairobi Bus Transporters Alliance chairman Edwin Mukabana said the BRT system was necessary to improve Nairobi’s traffic since dedicated lines along major roads will be set aside for public service vehicles.​