President Kenyatta on Tuesday launched the rehabilitated Nairobi Central Railway Station and commuter rail service across 10 stations within the Nairobi metropolis.
The 11 refurbished stations will be served by modern commuter trains referred to as Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs), which were imported from Spain.
Speaking during the launch, Uhuru said the stations will provide improved transport in high-density residential areas including Ruiru, Mwiki, Embakasi Village, Athi River, Kikuyu, Kahawa, Githurai, Dandora, Pipeline, and Donholm.
There will be a day-long hourly train service to and from the 10 stations with Kenya Railways targeting to serve up to 230,000 passengers daily.
“These stations will also soon be served by 11 DMUs, of which five are being commissioned today,” he said.
The new commuter rail network will be integrated with a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that will link the Central Station with existing bus termini.
The upgrade of the commuter rail stations including the access roads and the modern ticketing system was done at a cost of Sh6.6 billion.
Uhuru said the maintenance and upkeep of the stations will continue to be undertaken by youth working under the Kazi Mtaani program.
The president further indicated that the commuter rail service will be extended to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) within the next year. This will give air travelers an alternative means of transport to and from the airport, thus saving them from the Mombasa Road traffic jam.
“While this extension is being constructed, high capacity buses will be stationed at Embakasi Village Station to provide direct transport services to and from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,” he said.