The Cabinet on Thursday approved the creation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority.
The authority will help to decongest the city’s traffic and unlock its vast economic potential.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia sought approval for the formation of the authority through an executive order issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta in February.
The authority will address the transport challenges that have hampered the economy of the wider Nairobi metropolitan area covering the city, Murang’a, Kiambu, Kajiado, and Machakos counties.
The functions of the authority will include developing a coherent transport policy supportive of the development of the Nairobi metropolitan area.
It will also oversee the implementation of an integrated transport master plan and manage the development of a sustainable integrated mass rapid transit system strategy.
Upgrading 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 the city’s inefficient transport system.
Studies show that Nairobi has a sleeping population of about 4.2 million and a day population of seven million people who mainly come from the surrounding counties of Kiambu, Machakos, Murang’a, and Kajiado.
The Transport Ministry has entered into an agreement with the five counties for the development of the integrated transport system.
In February, President Kenyatta issued an executive order directing the establishment of the agency. The Cabinet, chaired by the President, also took time to scrutinise the Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority Bill, 2016, which will provide the relevant laws to run the authority.
The Bill provides for a council to oversee the affairs of the authority. The council will be headed by a chairperson to be appointed by the President.