Nairobi MRTS Conceptualization: Transit-Oriented Development for Sustainable Transport
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Nairobi, famous for Nairobi National Park, the world’s only game reserve found within a major city, started developing as a rail depot on the Uganda Railway. In 1963, Nairobi became the capital of the Republic of Kenya and showed phenomenal growth in terms of population ever since (from 11,500 in the year of 1906, to 3,138,369 by Year 2009, at growth rate of 4.1% a year). The city of Nairobi has experienced rapid urban sprawl. In 1970, average commuter distance was 0.8 km and increased to 25 km in 1998. Present commuter distance is over 40 km. The long commuter distances and heavy traffic congestion on the road has led to long travel time. At this rate, the difficulties commuting to the central business area is getting more and more complicated. The need of the hour is developing a world-class transport network, a combination of Road and Rail Based Mass Rapid Transit System (hereinafter mentioned as MRTS or MRT) technology. A comprehensive study was carried out in this direction to find out the feasibility of such MRTS in early 2000s. Based on the findings of the study, further study was conducted in 2013-2014 for developing the basis for a technical and financial harmonisation of measures. In 2019, the NMA Council gazetted 5 BRT and 7 Commuter Rail corridors vide Legal Notice No. 16 of 26th February 2019, which is outcome of all the efforts. This paper aims to put together the outcome of studies made so far.