Naieobi,KENYA:Leading vehicle assembler Isuzu East Africa (Isuzu EA) has unveiled three locally assembled bus models, specifically designed for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system in Kenya.
Addressing transport sector stakeholders at their assembly plant on Mombasa Road on Monday, Isuzu EA Managing Director Rita Kavashe noted that their bus has a capacity to carry up to 100 passengers in support of the implementation of BRT solutions for the country to help ease traffic congestion on the roads.
“Locally assembled buses are a demonstration to the Government, transport stakeholders and the public of Isuzu’s local capability and readiness in supporting the implementation of the BRT system,”
She added that for a long time, the local vehicle assembly sector has experienced slow growth due to influx of imported second-hand vehicles.
Kavashe similarly mentioned the need for Government and transport stakeholders to turn to local vehicle assembly companies in providing sustainable local solutions for the country’s transport needs.
“This achievement was made possible through various partnerships with local stakeholders in the transport sector. Many thanks to our partners in the banking sector who have confirmed their financial support in the purchase of these buses and our accredited bodybuilders,” added Rita.
The moves has been welcomed by transporters operating in Nairobi saying this would ease help bus owners own new locally made buses.
Nairobi Bus Transporters Chairman Edwin Mukabana expressed his delight on the achievement of a locally assembled BRT buses noting this will make the buses affordable and readily available.
“I am happy today to see a local assembly company being able to provide a local solution to our transport needs,” said Mr. Mukabana. “Importing fully built BRT buses for this market makes it expensive and difficult for PSV operators to purchase the vehicle. However, with locally assembled high capacity buses, the cost will significantly reduce and the buses will be available much faster for deployment,” added Mr. Mukabana.
The unveiling of the locally assembled high capacity buses comes at a time when the Government has sought to import BRT buses from South Africa as opposed to commissioning local vehicle assemblers. The three bus models unveiled were Isuzu FRR, designed for Feeder roads, the MV123 Stagecoach, and the LV434 designed for Highways. These buses come with enhanced body structures compliant to the KS372 standards, greater road stability and speed limits of 60kph for passenger safety and comfort.
The high capacity buses will have a carrying capacity ranging from 62 to 100 seating and standing passengers.