PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Nairobians welcome new DMU trains for their efficiency

The trains have spared travellers the anger and frustration associated with matatus

In Summary
  • The diesel multiple units were deployed by the Kenya Railways Corporation as part of a plan to decongest Nairobi roads.
  • The commuter rail project has been touted as a game-changer in the reduction of both vehicular and human traffic jams in the city.
The Diesel Mobile Unit (DMU) at the Nairobi Central Rail Station
The Diesel Mobile Unit (DMU) at the Nairobi Central Rail Station
Image: NMS

At least 120,000 city commuters have been enjoying a cruise feel to the CBD, a month later after the launch of the Nairobi Commuter Rail Service.

The diesel multiple units were deployed by the Kenya Railways Corporation as part of a plan to decongest Nairobi roads.

Currently, there are commuter train services on Nairobi - Imara Daima-Syokimau route, Nairobi - Githurai - Mwiki - Kahawa – Ruiru route, Nairobi-Embakasi route, and Nairobi - Kibera – Kikuyu route.

“I really enjoy my trip to work nowadays as I do not have to pass through the hectic and chaotic Jogoo Road traffic jams,” said George Ogembo who works in Westlands.

Ogembo said the new DMUs for him are affordable and convenient, his only complaint is he was not able to reach Westlands with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services buses always parked at the Nairobi Railway Station but do not seem to be in use.

Charity Njeri who stays in Syokimau is also pleased with the DMUs, as she is able to reach Nairobi CBD within 30 minutes.

“I catch the 8.50 am train from the station and get to the CBD by 9.25 am this is very efficient for me, as with the current Mombasa road traffic th least amounts of time you can use on road is 2hours,” said Njeri.

The construction of the 27km JKIA-Westlands expressway has been ongoing for some months now and is causing a traffic menace on the busy Mombasa-Nairobi highway.

Njeri however said that there is quite a distance from her house to the station, but the efficiency of the train service makes it worth it.

Rosa Mumanyi uses the Nairobi-Embakasi train from the Makadara station and says it is the best thing to happen to her as she is able to reach work early and get back home on time avoiding the heavy Jogoo road traffic.

The commuter rail project has been touted as a game-changer in the reduction of both vehicular and human traffic jams in the city.

It is part of the master lan of an integrated commuter system within the city and its environs which comprises the Bus Rapid Transit(BRT), monorail and underground rail.