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CS unveils rapid commuter trains to JKIA

BUSINESS
By Correspondent | December 8th 2020
Transport CS James Macharia during the launch of Nairobi commuter rail. [File, Standard]

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has commissioned a new railway link from Nairobi's city centre to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The service, which combines road and rail transport, will operate from 5.45 am to 9 pm.

The launch will see travellers to JKIA pay Sh500 to use the diesel multiple units (DMUs) trains from the Nairobi Railway Station.

It will take you about 20 minutes. An alternative of Sh140 will see passengers connect from the Nairobi Railway Station to Embakasi, and then board bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicles dedicated to the Nairobi Commuter Rail Bus.

“The regular train and bus service will ensure a safe and cost-effective means of transport that saves time by avoiding traffic jams usually experienced on the roads leading to JKIA,” said Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga during the launch yesterday.

“The buses have a capacity of 52 to 80 passengers - seated and standing.”

He said the express option will have three trains in the morning and another three in the evening. The route through Embakasi will have an hourly train.

Since President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned five DMUs early last month, Kenya Railways is now handling between 50,000 and 60,000 passengers daily, up from 14,000, the parastatal said.

“The State is not only giving citizens affordable and accessible pathways to conduct their business and social activities, but also creating pathways to employment and economic development,” said CS Macharia.

He added that six more trains imported from Spain would be added to the route in late January, which is expected to bolster passenger numbers to 120,000 per day as more stops are incorporated.

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