Joho hatches plans to decongest Mombasa CBD
The Mombasa County government has hatched a plan to have a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in a move targeted to decongest the port city. The County’s Transport executive Twafiq Balala, yesterday revealed that the administration had initiated talks to implement the system.
In an interview, Mr. Balala added that they are already engaging consultants who are planning the layout of the system.
“Right now, we are doing in-house plans before we engage a permanent consultant. We have had meetings with some of them to see how best the system can work to help decongest the city,” he said.
Among the consultants the county has engaged so far include those who worked on the transit system study of Dar es Salaam Tanzania.
The county officer said that there are plans to have the first phase of the system completed before the end of Governor Ali Hassan Joho’s term. That first phase will start with four buses, each carrying 100 passengers, located at the main junction leading to the Central Business District (CBD).
“Preliminary plans have proposed the conversion of the main road from Buxton to the CBD to dedicated one lane for the buses,” added Mr. Balala.
The proposed system will make transportation within the CBD much easier with buses taking only 7 minutes to go around the CBD. Currently, it takes the buses 30 minutes to move in the entire CBD, a situation that has resulted in the majority of people using the public transport take extended hours to arrive at their workplaces.
Mr. Balala said the system had worked very well having been introduced in Brazil and Columbia and thus will serve Mombasa residents much better than if they had a train system.
There has been a massive outcry for the traffic snarl up in Mombasa with business recording huge losses due to delays. However, with the completion of the proposed BRT, traders in Mombasa are expected to make up for the business droppings thereby boosting that economy of the tourism hub.