“The network will see two trains moving in different directions handling an increased capacity of 60 million passengers annually up from the current five million,” says Mr Tatache.
He says Kenya Railways is working on the preferred schedule and cost and adds that he is optimistic there will be increased frequency of trips between the (CBD) and its outskirts to effectively deal with the traffic snarl-ups.
He also adds that the corporation has already established 2,500 parking spaces that will be available at a small fee at the Syokimau station complete with vehicle servicing centres and a petrol station. This capacity, however, he says is set to increase with time.
This project will also see Kenya Railways Corporation build a new six-kilometre line connecting Embakasi to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport ( JKIA). This development will not only benefit residents but also visitors getting into or leaving the country through the airport. Many times they get stuck in traffic along the busy Mombasa Road just a few minutes on their way to or from the airport.
Many motorists have welcomed the idea saying it will help curb millions of shillings lost in productivity, fuel consumption and pollution. Saying the project if properly managed will provide reliable, safe and affordable commuter services in Nairobi.
However officials from the Kenya Railways say the benefits of the new rail commuter system may be cancelled out by the large population of slum dwellers living along the railway line at the Mukuru since they could pose security and safety challenges.
Kenya Railways is also wary of the challenge posed by the matatu bus station as many middle class and high class commuters would stay away from the City Centre Railway Station owing to overcrowding and the risk of being pick pocketed.
“There is no point of spending 15 minutes from the airport to the CBD just to spend another two hours in movement within the city station because of the matatu madness at the Railways Bus stop,” says Mr Tatache.
He says there are plans to decongest the stage and do away with the menace explaining that dedicated taxis and city transportation will be established to move people from the city terminal.
“We are speaking with officials in the Local Government ministry so that the matatus can be shifted to an alternative place. We want to ease the hustles and the menace posed by touts on train commuters,” Tatache adds.
Adherence to capacity