The World Bank on Thursday approved a Ksh25.2 billion ($300 million) funding to Kenya for upgrading city roads to reduce travel time and costs.
Kenya is expected to develop new mass rapid transport systems to reduce traffic congestion in Nairobi and other major cities under the National Urban Transport Improvement Project (NUTRIP).
This will see the expansion of Uhuru highway and the setting up of a rapid bus transit and commuter rail systems.
The World Bank will invest $300 million in the project, in addition to $113 million from the Kenyan Government.
“By helping to ease traffic congestion and develop a modern commuter system, this project will enable Nairobi to remain a great city in which to live and to do business,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.
“Developing countries like Colombia, Mexico and Nigeria have embraced mass public transit systems as they transitioned to middle-income status, and it is now time for Kenya to follow their example.”
A National Metropolitan Transport Authority will be established to coordinate and regulate public transport.
It will recommend policies on pricing and investments, financing equipment and related traffic management systems.
The major components of the project include the expansion and upgrading of highway, service, and access roads from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport through Nairobi to Rironi on the Northern Corridor transport system.
It will also finance the construction of by-passes in Kisumu in Western Kenya and Meru in Eastern Kenya.
The projects will be implemented by agencies working for the Ministries of Roads and Transport, including the Kenya National Highways Authority, the Kenya Urban Roads Authority and the Kenya Railways Corporation.