President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday created the Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NAMATA) to addresses transport challenges in five counties.
In a statement to newsrooms, the president said NAMATA will cover the counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Murang’a.
According to State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu, the authority is a consequence of various presidential interventions and directives issued since 2013 that are geared towards redefining the country’s capital as well as the wider Metropolitan Area.
“The President executed the Executive Order creating NAMATA under the enabling provisions of the State Corporations Act,” read part of the statement.
Namata is an interim measure pending the enactment of a statute that will establish a fully-fledged authority with expanded powers and a broader mandate and will be expected to formulate a sustainable integrated public transport strategy that will form the basis of the development of the proposed Metropolitan Area mass-transit system.
This, according to Esipisu, will incorporate both bus rapid-transit and commuter rail which he said are all part of Uhuru government’s wider plan of improving the country’s transport infrastructure.
Esipisu said the Metropolitan Area has experienced rapid growth over the last three decades but there has not been commensurate focus on providing sufficient and sustainable transport options for the area’s visitors and residents.
The establishment of the Authority is based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the National Government by the Ministry of Transport and the five county governments in August 2013.