14 November 2012

Kenya: Rail Connect Is a Giant Step Forward


YESTERDAY the new Nairobi Rail Connect service kicked off with the launch of the Syokimau railway station. New stations for commuters are being constructed at Imara Daima and Makadara. A link is proposed to JKIA.

Eventually it is planned that a network of light railways will serve Nairobi and its suburbs. Kenya Railways should be highly commended for this investment.

The only long-term solution for traffic jams in Nairobi is an effective public transport system. As in London and other major cities, private cars should pay to enter the CBD.

Only buses and taxis should be allowed to enter the CBD free of charge. Kenya Railways may find that it has under-estimated demand for its services.

It already needs more facilities for PSVs to bring passengers into Syokimau and Nairobi Central Station. It is planning five journeys a day between 7am and 9pm - that may well be too few.

The trains may need to run through the night to cater for workers in the CBD and industrial area. KR should also consider a second class service for travellers for whom Sh120 is too expensive. But all in all, this is a giant step forward towards making Nairobi a truly modern world capital.

Quote of the day: "Do you seriously expect me to be the first Prince of Wales in history not to have a mistress?" - Prince Charles was born on November 14, 1948

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