Guest Post: A Long Time Ago, Nairobi Had A Bus Service That Worked

Words: Ochieng Kochidi

The first time I rode a Kenya Bus Services (KBS) bus, was in 1975 when my family moved to Nakuru from Kakamega. There was no city bus service in Kakamega, so I found the concept interesting. The buses ran as far as Free-Area on the eastern end of town and as far as the Njoro Cheese factory on the western end of town.  The Nakuru buses were colored white with orange striping. Unfortunately, the Nakuru buses were withdrawn from service sometime around 1977, and so I did not enjoy riding a KBS bus again until my family moved to Nairobi in 1978.

KBS buses provided a reliable and affordable bus service between Nairobi and its suburbs.  The buses were colored white with green striping. Kenya Bus Service (KBS) was an off –shoot of the Overland Transport Company (OTC) which was a British company. OTC buses were colored white with black striping. OTC buses were long distance and ran between towns while KBS buses were designated for use within the city and its suburbs. KBS offered service between Nairobi City and the outlying suburbs such as Karen, Ngong, Nairobi Airport and Kenyatta University. The buses were clean and well maintained, with their central depot located at the “Tusker “stage in Nairobi.