The Vision 2030 secretariat wants Nairobi government to invest in segregated cycle lanes to facilitate the realisation of “cycling city” in the next 15 years.
The body responsible for overseeing the implementation of the country’s long-term development blueprint entered into a memorandum of understanding last month with Play Guru Ltd, giving the firm’s proposed $3.4 million (Sh343.4 million) bicycle assembly plant a vision 2030 status.
The 10,000-unit a month assembly line, to be commissioned by end of the year, will set Nairobi for a major infrastructure transformation, which will include cycling lanes and pedestrian sidewalks.
Vision 2030 director general Gituro Wainaina said the flagship private sector project will complement flagship projects by government institutions which are geared at propelling the country to a highly developing middle-income economy by 2030.
Implementation of the project may result in Nairobi adopting a non-motorised transport system, Wainaina said, adding this will save commuting time which averages four hours a day. “The new roads we are currently doing in the city are taking care of bicycles and pedestrians…Uhuru highway has no provision for that but there is something now going on,” Wainaina said.
Play Guru Limited chief operating officer Wycliffe Waweru said the company plans to open six more assembly lines across the country, through a franchise model, which will create 10,000 jobs. “The primary assembly line will be in Nairobi while the long-term plan will be to franchise and feed six more plants into the national grid,” Waweru said. “This will help thousands setup retail outlets in support of the vibrant industry thus providing thousands of job opportunities.”
The bicycles will retail at between $135 (Sh13,634) and $145 (Sh14,644), with a monthly repayment credit facility for low-income earners.
“Considering the market niche that we have identified, we don’t expect them to pay a lumpsum, so its flexible mode of payment through employer,” Waweru said.
He, however, noted the city requires dedicated lines for cycling if the project is to make any meaningful gains.
Last year March, the county government said it will invest 20 per cent of all road budget towards low carbon transport. This is under the county’s non-motorised transport policy. Governor Evans Kidero said the county targets to increase the role of NMT as a transport mode, integrating NMT as an essential element of public transport.