Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), an administrative unit that governs the Kenyan capital alongside Nairobi County Government, has begun a major project of automating the transport system in the city.
The proposal entails rolling out an intelligent transport system. It will bring about the introduction of automated fare collection, automatic vehicle management, passenger information, and onboard video surveillance and bus terminal solutions.
NMS has outsourced the services of the Kentkart Group; a Turkish company dealing with information technology for public transport. The company will install and roll out this system.
NMS Director General Lieutenant General Mohamed Badi said the system aims at providing solutions and meeting the public transport needs in the city.
KentKart Group, whose main offices are in Istanbul, Turkey, produces intelligent transportation systems, hardware, and software consistent with city-specific and international standards dealing in bus, metro, railways, cable cars, parking, bikes and taxis.
“On Wednesday, we held discussions with KentKart Group on the introduction of an intelligent transport system to improve the quality of transit services within the city as well as minimise transportation costs,” Badi said.
The automated fare collection system will see commuters use mobile money like M-Pesa, credit cards like MasterCard, and also scan to pay fares.
The vehicle tracking system will provide detailed statistical reports on route violation, daily total kilometres, speed violation, schedule adherence, speed or time duration graphic and trip reports.
This development is part of the project for capacity building for bus operation policy and management in the Nairobi metropolitan area that is being facilitated by the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA).
Tuesday the JICA expert team presented the work plan on the bus operation policy and management project.
Badi said the three-year project, which was launched in March 2022, is geared towards improving the quality of public transport services within Nairobi, particularly for the vulnerable road users and bus operators.
Automatic vehicle management, passenger information, and on-board video surveillance and bus terminal solutions will be deployed in the out-of-city termini that are being constructed by NMS.
The seven termini, which are part of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan (NIUPLAN) are geared to ensuring a reliable and efficient transport system in the city. They include Fig Tree terminus, Muthurwa terminus, Desai and Park Road, Muthurwa-Ladhies terminus, Globe Roundabout terminus, Green Park terminus and one at the junction of Bunyala and Workshop Road.
The electronic system will be incorporated with the termini to keep the bus users updated on the time the last-mile buses will be at the different pick-up stages.