Embakasi railway on the way to ease travel

By: MUCHEMI WACHIRA

City Hall has proposed a commuter railway in Embakasi in a master project aimed at decongesting Nairobi.

Governor Evans Kidero said the county government is working with Kenya Railways Corporation on the design of Embakasi Commuter Rail Station.

It will be part of a multimillion-shilling Mass Rapid Transit System plan.

In the project, which was given the go-ahead by the National Treasury, 167kms new roads and railway lines linking the city to several satellite towns would be constructed.

The project is under Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project and is being implemented by Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority.

The agency was established in February by suspended Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau to oversee the implementation of the metropolitan services project.

Recently, the authority formed its secretariat comprising transport executives from Nairobi County Government and four other counties Machakos, Kiambu, Murang’a as well as Kajiado counties.

Other officials in the secretariat are from the ministries of Transport and Infrastructure and Land, Housing and Urban Development.

The two ministries had early this year signed a memorandum of understanding with the five regional governments to jointly undertake the decongesting of the city.

A FULL TRANSPORT REVUMP

Dr Kidero, in a statement on Sunday, said they decided to take advantage of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

The SGR, which cuts across Embakasi is under construction and is expected to be complete in 2017.

Embakasi Commuter Railway Station will serve, Syokimau Railway Station and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Commuters will use the railway to access the city centre.

According to the governor, the construction of the commuter rail would also include rehabilitation of the access road to the Embakasi Station.

“The design and documentation are being prepared by the county government, Kenya Railways and the Ministry of Lands,” said Dr Kidero.

The metropolitan services project will also involve construction of a rapid bus transit system. Special buses will charge lower rates.

At the same time, additional special bus lanes will be built from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport road junction to Machakos and another one to Kikuyu through Waiyaki Way.

Two more bus routes head to Bomas and Ruaka towns through Lang’ata and Limuru roads, respectively.

There will also be an 8kms tram service connecting the Nairobi Railway Station and Dagoretti Corner and an additional rail service connecting Nairobi to Ruai, Kasarani, Westlands and Kayole.

It is expected that the entire project would drastically reduce traffic snarl-ups in the city as commuters are offered the choice of reliable, safe and clean public transport, which will encourage them to leave their cars at home.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION