What is in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority Bill ?

Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority Bill

The Bill is based on Article 189(2) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 which provides that “Government at each level, and different governments at the county level, shall co-operate in the performance of functions and exercise of powers and, for that purpose, may set up joint committees and joint authorities.”

Establishment of Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority

In line with that, the Bill provides for the establishment of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority that will, among other responsibilities, oversee the establishment of an integrated, efficient, effective and sustainable public transport system within the Metropolitan Area. The Metropolitan Area is defined as the Nairobi Metropolitan Area and the counties of Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado and Murang’a. This Authority shall be a body corporate that will have its headquarters in Nairobi City.

It will come up with and oversee the implementation of an integrated transport master plan and oversee the development of a sustainable integrated mass rapid transit system. An integrated mass rapid transit system is a collective urban or suburban passenger service system operating at high levels of performance especially with regard to travel times & passenger carrying capacity and may be based on either elevated, surface-level or underground road systems or rail-based systems such as suburban commuter railways, metropolitan railways, light rail/tramway or road-based bus systems.

The Authority has been granted power to enter relationships, agreements or partnerships with any other, whether government or otherwise, for the purpose of providing transportation services, infrastructure or equipment. They have also been mandated to protect, maintain and improve all declared public transport roads. It is not clear which roads will be under this Authority as roads have already been classified and divided among the county governments and the national government.


Establishment of Nairobi Metropolitan Area Council

The Bill also proposes to establish the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Council that is comprised of;

  • Cabinet Secretary for Transport (Chairperson)
  • Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury
  • Governor of Nairobi (Deputy Chairperson)
  • Governor of Kiambu
  • Governor of Machakos
  • Governor of Kajiado
  • Governor of Murang’a
  • Chairperson of the Board (an ex-officio member)
  • The Director-General (who shall be the secretary to the Council)

The Council shall be responsible for the development of policy and directions for purpose and to determine the financial contribution of each county. It also has a responsibility to declare transport corridors within the Metropolitan Area via notice in the Gazette.

Establishment of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Board

The management of the Authority is vested in the Board. It is composed of a chairperson (appointed by the President), the Principal Secretary for Transport, the Principal Secretary for Roads, the Principal Secretary for National Treasury, the County Executive Committee member responsible for transport in each of the 5 counties, three independent persons (appointed by the Council) due to their knowledge and experience in transport/law/intelligent transport systems/civil engineering/ traffic engineering/ urban design, planning and development/ economics or any other relevant field. There will also be a Director General, who will be ex-officio and have no right to vote. The secretary, a certified public secretary and an ex-officio member, also has no right to vote.


Independence of the Authority

Clause 13 guarantees the independence of the authority stating that it shall be wholly separate from both levels of Government in its exercise of its functions. It shall perform its functions without any political bias or interference from the nominating authority, any person or body.



Licensing of PSVs

All PSVs shall conform to National Standards and Specifications in force at the time.

Licensing of Drivers

All drivers of PSVs within the Metropolitan Area shall undertake national training and examination and shall on completion be awarded the driver’s certificate of professional competence. The certificate shall be valid of a period not exceeding 5 years.

Licensing of Public Transport Operators

Any operator that wishes to provide PSV services in the Metropolitan Area shall first satisfy National requirements prescribed by Regulations. Upon satisfaction of the national requirements, the Authority shall issue a Certificate of Operation to an operator to carry on any PSV operations within the Metropolitan area. The Certificate of Operation shall be valid for a period of 5 years.

These PSV Certificates of Operation shall be issued to an applicant who-

  • Is of good repute
  • Is of good financial standing and
  • Satisfies the requirements of professional competency

The certificate may be granted with extra conditions on the maximum and minimum number of PSVs to be operated. The Authority shall specify, monitor and facilitate driver and competency training to be carried out by others for the PSV sector within the Metropolitan Area. Moreover, the decisions of Authority subject to appeals in the High Court.



The funds and assets of the Authority shall be-

  1. Monies allocated by Parliament for the purposes of the Authority
  2. Metropolitan Area County Exchequers
  3. Such monies or assets as may accrue to the Authority in the course of the exercise of its powers or performance of its functions
  4. All monies from any other source provided, donated or lent to the Authority

Establishment of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Fund

It is a national fund established by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury. The Authority shall apply the monies received into the Fund to undertake Board-authorized activities, to carry out the operations of the Authority and any other functions that the Board may consider necessary for the discharge of its functions.

Strategic Investment Plan (SIP)

The Board shall recommend a Strategic Investment Plan to the Council every ten years, for adoption. The Board shall publish an Investment Plan for the next 5 years, within a period of 6 months, before the commencement of the first years of the Strategic Investment Plan. In addition, the Board shall, within a period of 3 months, publish an annual business plan before the start of each year of the SIP.


Establishment of a Transport Museum

The Authority may establish and maintain a museum of transport artefacts, records and other exhibits and may do anything necessary or expedient for or in connection with the provision or maintenance of the museum.

If passed in Parliament, the Bill will greatly aid in the decongestion of Nairobi City leading to an efficient transport system. 

This article was written by
Sylvia Katua of Mzalendo Trust .
It was published on Nov. 21, 2017.


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