Public transportation is set for a change in Nairobi after the Cabinet approved the upgrading of the Nairobi commuter railway network at a cost of Sh 2.5 billion.
The government through Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC) will import faster trains from Spain, as it seeks to find a solution to the unending traffic snarl ups in the city that eats up a lot of man hours for the Nairobi population.
KRC is expected to start the tendering process this month.
KRC currently serves an estimated 13,000 passengers per day, after this upgrade, the corporation projects the number of passengers to grow ten times the current daily numbers.
80 per cent of Nairobi’s population use public transport services, mostly matatus. With its chaotic nature, the few that avoid using this means, use private vehicles, which has been a major source of traffic jams on Nairobi’s roads.
KRC has been working to improve its infrastructure for some years now with new stations at Imara Daima, Syokimau, Jogoo Road and Kikuyu, where commuters would even come and leave their cars (cheaper paid parking) at those stations and connect to the central business district using the train.
The upgrade will target all the five commuter lines from Nairobi Railway Station to Embakasi Village, Syokimau, Ruiru, Kahawa and Kikuyu as well as an upgrade of the Nairobi Central Station.