Kenya Railways is set to unveil the Nairobi commuter train service in December as part of efforts to ease congestion on city roads.
The project, dubbed Nairobi Railway City (NRC), is co-funded by the government and the World Bank.
The Presidential Delivery Unit, in a tweet, said Kenya Railways has already refurbished several trains and constructed 10 stations to facilitate the plan.
Dandora, Mwiki, Githurai, Kahawa, and Ruiru are among the new stations targeted for completion before the December launch.
The new stations shall complement the existing ones – Kibera, Imara Daima, Syokimau, and Makadara.
Nairobi Transport executive Mohamed Dagane says the commuter trains will move over 40,000 people daily.
Kenya Railways says the NRC is one of the priority projects identified under the Nairobi Integrated Urban Plan (NIUPLAN), as a strategy for expansion of Nairobi’s CBD.
They said it is envisioned to be a Transit-Oriented Development.
“Transit-Oriented Development is the creation of compact, walkable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use communities centred around high-quality train systems thus decongesting urban centres by reducing high dependence on automobiles for mobility and survival,” KR said on Twitter.
Last month, the government announced it had embarked on a plan to reintroduce city commuter train services.
Transport CS James Macharia said the government has opted to introduce more trains as opposed to buses.
“We are currently focusing on two main routes. The first one is the Syokimau to CBD and the second one is the Ruiru-CBD,” he said.
Macharia said the two routes will provide an alternative to the much anticipated Bus Rapid Transit system, but will not replace BRT.
“We shall still be doing the BRT only that it is faster if we go the commuter trains way. We do not need any land and the tracks are already in place.”
Macharia said the BRT project will require some Sh7 billion and the government will co-fund with World Bank.
And for progress, the European Union on Wednesday pledged an Sh5 billion grant towards the Nairobi Bus Rapid Transport project.
The announcement was made by EU Ambassador to Kenya Stefano Dejak during the commemoration of the World Cities Day in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
The grant is likely to resuscitate the Sh7 billion project that stalled four months ago due to lack of funds.