Kenya Railways, through the Nairobi Commuter Rail Service, on Thursday announced operations for a new railway link from the city centre to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The corporation said, in a statement, that air travellers will from next week be able to avoid the traffic snarl-up along Mombasa road in a move that will see passengers dropped at the Embakasi Railway Station from where a courtesy bus will pick them and ferry them to the airport.
“Commuters will be able to catch a train from the Nairobi Railway Station up to the Embakasi Village Railway Station after which they will then be ferried through the Airport South Road which has been dedicated to the Nairobi Commuter Rail Bus also referred to as the Bus Rapid Transit Vehicles,” the statement read in part.
The state agency added that the service was being undertaken in conjunction with the Kenya Airport Authority, which is offering technical guidance on security matters and other issues to ensure all commuters from the Railway Station access the Airport efficiently.
Other buses will be stationed at Embakasi Village Station, to provide transport services to and from JKIA.
The planned unveiling of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Express Service by KR follows the commissioning of the Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) by President Uhuru Kenyatta last week who had assured that the rail track will be extended to the airport.
President Kenyatta gave the public assurance that in the near future the rail track will be extended to JKIA allowing air travellers an alternative mode of transport to and from the airport without suffering the frustration of being caught up in 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.
The commuter rail, complemented by a Rapid Bus Transit System are expected to greatly reduce travel time between JKIA and the city Centre as well as enabling the commuter train service at large to freely ship at least 500,000 urban commuters daily in the next 12 months.
The is being funded by the France government through an agreement signed by Mr Kenyatta and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron during the latter’s first ever visit to Kenya.
The commuter service includes a Park and Ride Service at a cost of Sh100 per trip, with trips to and from the city will cost one Sh200.