, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 9 – A legislation that seeks the creation of an Authority, key to removing the capital’s traffic gridlock and unlocking its vast economic potential has been formally introduced in the National Assembly.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority Bill, 2016, which will provide relevant laws to run the authority, was read for the first time in the House before it adjourned for a three week recess.
If the Bill becomes law, it will see the formation of the Authority whose mandate will be to address the transport challenges that have hampered the economy of the wider Nairobi Metropolitan Area covering the city, Murang’a, Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos.
It will oversee the implementation of an integrated transport master plan and will also manage the development of a sustainable, integrated Mass Rapid Transit System strategy.
According to a Cabinet Communiqué upgrading of the transport system of the metropolitan area will have huge benefits for the country’s economy, which is estimated to be losing more than Sh100 billion annually due to Nairobi’s inefficient transport system.
The Cabinet approved the Bill in April this year.
Studies show that Nairobi has a sleeping population of about 4.2 million people and a day population of seven million people who mainly come from the surrounding counties of Kiambu, Machakos, Murang’a and Kajiado.
The Ministry of Transport has already entered into an agreement with the five Counties the authority will cover for the development of an integrated transport system.
In February, President Kenyatta issued an Executive Order directing the establishment of the agency.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority Bill provides for a council that will oversee the running of the metropolitan transport authority.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Area Council will be headed by a chairperson to be appointed by the President.
The functions of the council will include receiving the annual budget estimates of the authority and approve external funding and bilateral agreements in line with the national financial and fiscal policies.