The county government of Kisumu has launched a Sustainable and Resilient Mobility Plan to promote equitable and convenient transport system for the city.
The ten-year plan developed in partnership with the Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP) and United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) also seeks to decongest the city which is third largest in the country.
The plan, according to ITDP representative Eng. Meshack Kidenda calls for equitable allocation of road space and greater investment in walking, cycling, and public transport.
Kidenda said the plan also incorporates development of a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system for the lakeside city to decongest the city which is experiencing rapid growth.
Speaking during the launch of the plan and the inaugural Kisumu Car Free Day, Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o said the plan targets to ensure that pedestrians go about their business within the Central Business District (CBD) without unnecessary interruption or danger from motorists.
The plan, he added will help Kisumu to grow into the best intermediate city in Africa by ensuring that the right infrastructure is in place.
The county, he added, has partnered with an electronic motorcycle assembly firm to supply e-motorbikes for boda boda operators in the area to help decarbonize the city.
“This company is now here and if you want the e-motorbike you bring the one you are using then they lease you a new one to continue with your business,” he said.
UN-Habitat Representative Rehab Mudala lauded the initiative saying besides mobility, the plan will also address pollution and other challenges brought about by congestion in cities.
The introduction of electronic motorbikes and e-mobility vehicles, he said will help decarbonize the city at the same time ease movement of people to and from the city.
“We need to embrace a public transport system that does not punish people by embracing regular car- free days, to ensure people walk within the city uninterrupted,” Mudala said.
Mudala urged the county government to take advantage of the Covid-19 containment measures to negotiate with stakeholders in the transport sector to develop designated parking lots to ease congestion.
Kisumu Acting City Manager Abala Wanga said the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Triangle has been demarcated for the rollout of the project.
Traders along the busy street, he said, are now expected to park their vehicles at designated areas backstreet while those dropping off passengers will be allowed only 15 minutes.
All passenger buses, he said, have been banned from operating within the CBD with firm instruction to vacate by the 30th of March to help decongest the city.
Tracks, he added, have also been banned from the CBD apart from those ferrying fuel and goods which must have authority from the city management before gaining entry.
Trackers who flout his regulation, he said, are liable to a fine of Sh 7, 000.
By Chris Mahandara