Kenya has secured KSh50 billion ($377 million) from a consortium of European agencies to build a dedicated electric bus lane in Nairobi as the country moves to deal with the congestion headache in the capital.
The funders who include the European Union (EU) say the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) lane will be the first in East Africa and is part of a system of five such lanes to be developed in Kenya.
The deal which was signed in Brussels on Wednesday following President William Ruto's visit will see the EU provide KSh6.47 billion ($48.79 million) in grants, while the European Investment Bank (EIB) and French Development Agency (AFD) will jointly support the projects with KSh33.9 billion ($255.64 million) in funding.
The Kenya government will produce KSh9.5 billion ($71.64 million), taking the figure to $377 million.
“AFD is very pleased to be part of this Team Europe initiative and to actively contribute to the preparation of this important project for Nairobi and Kenya,’’ Director of the Mobility Department at AFD, Lise Breuil, said in a statement on Thursday.
10 main components
The declaration of intention to finance the electric bus line was signed by EU Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen and Kenya's Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen.
The project starts from Kenyatta National Hospital and progresses to Haile Selassie Avenue into the Central Business District, continues on Racecourse Road to Ring Road Ngara to Juja Road and then ends in Dandora.
The projects comprise 10 main components which include bus running ways, bus stations, bus depot, station access supporting infrastructure including pedestrian bridges, fare collection and validation systems.
Other components are a bus fleet (110-articulated buses), interchange stations for feeder bus services, park-and-ride facilities, a BRT control room, and a real-time passenger information system.
“The European Investment Bank welcomes today’s milestone agreement with President Ruto and looks forward to finalising $218.5 million (KSh28.8 billion) support for the visionary Nairobi BRT scheme through EIB Global,” EIB Vice President Thomas Östros said on Thursday.