Kenya has reached a Ksh50 billion ($378 million) financing agreement with the European Commission to construct Africa’s first electric bus rapid transit (BRT) system.
The agreement was made after a meeting with Kenyan president, William Ruto, and president of the European Commission, Ursula von de Leyen, at the European Union Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Per the agreement, the upcoming Green Mobility-Nairobi core bus rapid transit line 3 (BRT 3) will feature zero-emission electric buses and will introduce intelligent transport system features; affordable fare setting; inclusion of access to the public transport system for youth, women and low-income households; and address traveller safety.
Since 2019, Kenya has had plans to join other African countries like Nigeria and Ghana with its own BRT system. In February 2022, it announced that it had ruled out petrol and diesel buses and would only operate electric vehicles (EVs) for its transit system. By September, however, it announced that the launch—scheduled for June 2022—had been stalled due to a $46 million funding constraint. This new financing deal should help it keep things running.
The country is late to its own game, though, as Kenya already has several electric vehicle transit options. In August 2022, Swedish firm Roam Limited launched its Roam Rapid Bus, a mass transit EV service; and other companies like BasiGo are operating EV ride-hailing services.