In recent decades, the population of Nairobi has grown rapidly and currently the population is estimated at 3.5 million people, with over six million in the wider metropolitan area. This has led to the expansion and growth of the city in an attempt to accommodate more people, while at the same time maintaining the aesthetic image originally associated with Nairobi. This rapid urbanization has led to several problems such as poor construction standards and the emergence of slums, inadequate water supply, poor drainage and sanitation, poor road conditions and traffic jams.

With regard to public transport, the current network of buses is insufficient to meet rising demand and the prevailing minibuses (“matatus”) are not adequately regulated. Under current conditions, public transport businesses are widely operated with little regard for public service, safety and security.

As a major trading hub in the region, development of an efficient mass rapid transit system has been recognized as core to its becoming a world class competitive centre for commerce and industry. The opportunity for Nairobi to make this change is now! The Nairobi 2030 metropolitan strategy states that an efficient public transport system that includes the development of bus and rail transport as well as development of metro-wide non-motorized transport network all need to be taken into account in revamping the cities transport system.

Recent upgrading of the Uhuru Highway is led by KeNHA and funded by the World Bank and will include the first Nairobi BRT. The planning of the pilot BRT service will be supported by ITDP.


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