•Walking is the most common mode of transport in Nairobi due to poor connectivity and poor road quality

•Nairobi's public transit is underutilized due to inadequate station density and a poor national rail network.

Kenyans on the streets of Nairobi
Kenyans Kenyans on the streets of Nairobi
Image: Photos for class

Nairobi has been ranked as the 59th city out of 60 cities in a survey of major cities in the world when it comes to transit by the  2022 Urban Mobility Readiness Index in collaboration with the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies.

The index indicated that Nairobi ranked at number 59 for Urban Mobility Readiness, with an overall Index score of 26.3%. Ranked at 27.9%  for Sustainable Mobility and 24.7 for Public Transit.

"Nairobi's public transit, consisting of matatus (public minibuses) and buses, is affordable, and wait times are low. However, it is underutilized due to inadequate station density and a poor national rail network.

Walking is a popular mode of transportation in the city due to low road quality and connectivity as well as limited public transit offerings. But few shared mobility operators are active in the city, and residents have not yet embraced it," read the survey's description of Nairobi.

The index showed how well cities are maintaining mass transit networks and how many commuters use them and the preparedness of the ranked countries to show ssustainable and efficient mobility to change.

The ranking indicated that it Nairobi was not prepared for a change in the transit sector, especially after the economic backdrop due to Covid 19.

The index indicated that economic fallout during Covid 19  brought forth by poor revenue and lost jobs to operate the transit industry, increased congestion associated with more private travel, and noise, light, and air pollution as one of the causes of the low rank.

Among other factors that contribute to the poor performance are the disruptions from inflation to climate change.

The sub-index also indicated that the countries that have lower scores have themselves to blame. 

"The cities that struggled this year failed to take advantage of the pandemic’s disruption, or even let the pandemic cause further regressions, like public transit service cuts and poorer road safety," read the Urban Mobility Readiness Index.

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