“What would it take for a built-up city to adopt a bus rapid transit system? And growing attention to a city like Nairobi where I come from which experienced traffic congestion in the state of infrastructure seems difficult to expand.”
Okay, yes I know a little bit about Nairobi because my daughter was over there just a couple of months ago. So we were taking a bit of interest in it.
The interesting thing about the question with regards to bus rapid transport or you could ask the same question about light rail or heavy rail or freeways and highways are, in terms of asset management, you don’t want to jump into a solution before you’ve analyzed the problem.
And I think, again as an engineer often we do that, we say, Oh look we’ve got this terrible congestion, we’ve got this terrible problem, we need to build ‘XYZ’.
That’s very much our engineers in us – just wanting to speak, and do we build this or do we built that. But, often we need to stop and that’s probably the issue too much stopping.
Think about what actually is the demand that we’ve got is and how we best to invest in a solution that’s going to solve those problems.
It may well be affecting the ability of people to get the services they need and for businesses to actually conduct business in an effective manner.
And transport in a certain area where you pour a huge amount of money, whether that’s local municipality’s money or it’s somebody else’s funds that they are investing would be, it’s a real challenge to understand what that demand is to try to find the best solution.
So from an infrastructure asset management point of view, for a city like Nairobi and just for perhaps other listeners who may not be that familiar with the city, all the big African cities are experiencing phenomenal growth.
So you’ve got not only high population growth and the economies are growing as well particularly Kenya and Nigeria. But you have also got a lot of people coming in from the countryside.
So that’s that whole – that’s happening right across rapidly developing countries in the world. But Africa has particular issues with that.
So you’ve got a massive amount of growth going on. Also, you’ve got variable service levels in large African cities.
You’ve got some infrastructure that’s still okay but will be getting congested because of the growth. You’ve got other infrastructure that is very poor particularly in some of the informal housing areas.
Grant said that – African cities are expanding all the time. Ross agreed that they are very quickly expanding.
So in a way, this posed the temptation to build infrastructure to solve the problem. The problem may be replicated the day after the solution was built. So it’s a long game, isn’t it?
It is. I think the thing there is, particularly, we don’t run into this issue as much in New Zealand.
Some of the American cities are running into it, Austin, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina I think are growing very quickly still.
That very high level of growth and inadequate infrastructure are quite a challenge.
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