It is estimated that there are over 25,000 public service vehicles (psv’s) in operation throughout Nairobi, which account for approximately 80% of Nairobi’s traffic within the Central Business District. Of the PSV's there are around 16,000 Matatus which operate under free-market conditions, with little regulation or control and has resulted in a decline in customer satisfaction and poor maintenance standards.
The majority of the destination for the Matatus is the Central Business District (CBD) of Nairobi, which causes severe congestion in and around the highway network on the approach and surrounding the CBD. The sheer volumes of Matatus trying to access the CBD on a daily basis create a serious congestion issue which contributes to poor journey time reliability, significant journey time delay, queuing traffic and poor air quality in Nairobi. The pressure on the existing road network is expected to get significantly worse with a projected population increase in Nairobi from 3.3 million people in 2010 to an anticipated projection of 5.8 million people by 2025. Nairobi and specifically the CBD is known as the commercial centre for East Africa and is a key hub of commercial activity and government employment. It is important that the CBD is not blighted by the congestion and the problems associated with it and is supported by a transport system to fit its needs and aspirations for growth. With congestion continuing to increase and declining public satisfaction in standards, there is an urgent need for change and an improvement on the current situation. If Nairobi is to meet public expectations and accommodate the growth in population, whilst keeping Nairobi as the commercial centre for East Africa changes must happen. In order to identify improvements to the situation, a series of studies have been undertaken to determine what solutions would be best suited to address the issues facing Nairobi. The results revealed that BRT would be the key component to reducing congestion on the highway network in and around the CDB and providing a transport infrastructure to help keep Nairobi as a commercial centre for East Africa and allow growth in a sustainable manner. In order to address the above, The Transportation Consultancy (ttc) were appointed as part of an International Consortium to undertake a feasibility and detailed design study for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Nairobi. “ttc’s” role within the consortium is to provide passenger demand and revenue forecasts for the BRT scheme and assist with the general specification for the system. The study will provide a focus on the two potential BRT corridors.
BRT Corridor 3 East & West, Corridor 4 West
The two corridors of focus for the study are described below;
Line 3 (East & West) is known as the ‘Chui Line’ and is over 20km in length and is proposed to run on an east to west alignment from the Eastern Nairobi district of Njiru, through the Central Business District before heading west towards the Western districts of Nairobi, terminating at the Show Ground and the University.
Line 4 West is known as the ‘Kifaru Line’ is approximately 8km in length and starts on the western side of the CBD before routing through the CBD and terminating at Landhies Road.
The map below displays the extent of the Nairobi Proposed BRT Network, whereby Line 3 and Line 4 are represented by the Green and Red colour lines.
The basis of the feasibility study was to develop a Public Transport VISUM Model to determine the effect on all modes of transport of the re-allocation of highway space on the Nairobi Highway Network, as well as the development of the passenger demand and revenue forecasts. The model will be based on traffic surveys undertaken along the proposed corridors in the Autumn of 2015. Service patterns have been identified together with stations along the route. The buses will have dedicated busways along each route with priority over ‘normal’ traffic at key intersections and therefore intelligent transport systems (ITS) will be specified. It is proposed that the BRT system will operate to full BRT specifications as set out by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and will revolutionise public transport in Nairobi. The timescale for the feasibility study is for approximately 6 months, with the project running until March 2017.
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