President Uhuru Kenyatta has created the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NAMATA) under the State Corporations Act to address challenges in the transport sector.

In a statement, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the Authority will cover the counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Murang’a.

According to 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.

“NAMATA is a bold and visionary policy intervention that, for the first time in our nation’s history, provides a comprehensive and dynamic platform for addressing the decades-old challenges in the transport sector that have bedevilled the Metropolitan Area,” Esipisu said.

He stated that the body shall formulate a sustainable integrated public transport strategy that will be the basis for the orderly development of the proposed Metropolitan Area mass-transit system, which incorporates both bus rapid-transit and commuter rail.

“These elements are part of the administration’s wider plan of improving Kenya’s transport infrastructure as a spur for social and economic development,” he indicated.

The creation of the body is based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013 between the National Government and the county governments of Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Machakos and Kajiado.

“NAMATA is designed to, at long last, address this gap and provide the Metropolitan Area with a world-class public transport system,” the statement said. “The Authority, as established by the Head of State’s Executive Order, is an interim measure pending the enactment of a Statute that will establish a fully-fledged Authority with expanded powers and a broader mandate.”

He stated that 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.