President Kibaki today opened the newly built ultra-modern Syokimau train station in Athi River. The station is set to decongest traffic along the busy Mombasa Highway as it provides an alternative means of transport for commuters to and from the Nairobi CBD.
President Kibaki lauded the recent development in transport infrastructure and urged Kenyans to embrace it rather than focus on the forthcoming elections.
He said that the initial upgrade of the railways network will start in the capital but will spread to other regions of the country as well.
The president was among the first passengers of the new train service as he boarded it to take the 30 minute ride to the city and meet up with his motorcade which left Syokimau without him.
The Syokimau terminal will serve about 2000 commuters a day as it will only run in the mornings and in the evenings. The number is likely to increase though once the services are expanded to other times of the day.
Other stations being upgraded are the Makadara train station, the Imara Daima train station and the Railways train station in the city centre all of which will form part of the core system upon completion.
Along with the improved train services, there will also be additional services offered. There will be Park and Ride and Drop and Ride systems which will further streamline the Nairobi commuter rail services.
Under Park and Ride, vehicle owners will be able to drive their cars to the various railway stations in the city and from there catch the train to the city center.
Syokimau has a capacity of 2500, while the Imara Daima and Makadara stations will have car capacities of 150 and 500 respectively.
Passengers using public transport will also be able to use the train and will be dropped off to designated spots from where they will be able to access the trains under the Drop and Ride system.
Other transport infrastructure earmarked for upgrade are the Mombasa-Malaba highway with a turn-off to Kisumu along with other existing road and railway networks.