[photo: The Star]
Nov, 10th 2020 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched the revamped Nairobi Commuter Rail Service and Diesel Multiple Units. Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, the President said that the Rail Service will create more revenue amid an economic recovery.
He also said it will provide a viable transport solution to nearly 1.5 million people who commute into Nairobi CBD daily. This he says, will make commuting easier.
The Rail Service, is also expected to, merge, rail transport, with other means of transport, in the country. The service routes, include the Nairobi railway Station to Syokimau, Embakasi Village, Ruiru, and Kikuyu. New satellite stations, will include Umoja, Kibra, Thogoto, Mbagathi Way, Thika, Kitengela and Dagoretti.
Kenya railways targets to serve up to 230,000 passengers on a daily basis once the commuter rail is launched. The project has been termed as a game changer in reducing both human and motor traffic jams in the city. This means that passengers will save both money and time enjoying their comfort on trip to and from the city center.
The commuter rail is part of the master plan of an integrated commuter system in the city and its environs comprising of the bus rapid transit, monorail and underground rail where commuters use while boarding or alighting trains which are not near the main platform.
Philip Mainga, Kenya Railways Managing Director earlier said that on average, they move 30,000 to 40,000 passengers through the station daily. He added that Kenya railways operates a minimum of three trains in the morning and another three in the evening. They purchased 11 sets of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs)
Mainga said, “What we are planning now, after renovation and rehabilitation of the stations that you saw, we expect in which every one hour that we will be having about 40,000 people exiting, and getting through this station within one to two hours.”
The new commuter train station entails a ticket booking office with six booths with one set aside for physically challenged enabling payment either via cash or mobile transaction, mpesa. there is a bar and restaurant for commuters with also a VIP lounge. hand washing points have also been erected within the station with washrooms too. The seats are divided in two rows similar to that of the SGR trains
“We have raised, our stage, our platforms in such a way that our customers will not need to struggle. Where you see this platform, it is to be the edge of the train and when the door is open, you just need to walk in without any problem and that means we are the physically challenged, the elderly, and even the rest of the people because of the rush. You do not need to skid or rather open door where you can hurt yourself,” Mainga said.
The staff working at the station will be dressed in the Kenya Railways color which is yellow, red and maroon.