There has been lots of talk over the last few years about ‘decongesting’ the city of Nairobi.Unfortunately most of it has been done on paper with the few practical attempts towards ‘decongesting’ proving to be either short term or complete failures. Nearly all of these proposals have been dubbed as ‘Quick wins’ focusing on diverting traffic and traditional ‘no right turn’ rules.
A lot of emphasis has also been placed on road construction and expansion, however, with the number of vehicles hitting the road being un-proportional to the length of kilometres of road being laid down, this solution too has proven to be a failure.
One area that has not received any attention in the ‘short term’ plans is public transportation. Nairobi’s public transportation is an array of privately run buses and minivans that vie for passengers on registered routes within and outside the city. The majority of them converge towards the CBD in line with the centrifugal nature of the City Structure. The city’s transport has a rich history and was once run by Kenya Bus Services that started as a partly foreign and local government owned company and enjoyed a monopoly over access to the CBD as well as certain routes. By 1986 KBS owned over 293 buses carrying over 300,000 passengers on 90 different lines. In the mid-80s they were joined by the Government owned Nyayo Bus Service who were initially successful but lasted less than a decade owing to massive corruption and mismanagement. Continue here: Nairobi: How can buses help decongest? | Urban Planning and Design in Africa