Kenya to reduce traffic congestion by constructing commuter rail

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Railway Line
Railway Line

Kenyan President William Ruto on Friday launched construction of the Riruta-Ngong Commuter Rail line that aims to ease traffic congestion in the capital city of Nairobi.

Ruto said that the 12.5-km meter gauge railway line, to be constructed by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) Kenya, will connect to an existing railway line in the residential suburb of Riruta in Nairobi County and extend to Ngong town in Kajiado County. It will run through Riruta, Karen, Bulbul and Ngong stations.

“This new rail will have the capacity of transporting 10,000 people every day, thereby reducing traffic congestion on our roads,” Ruto said, adding that when the rail is complete, it will reduce the cost of transport within the city by half, contributing to the overall reduction in the cost of living.

Jiao Xuxue, the deputy general manager of China Road and Bridge Corporation Kenya, said that the project is expected to be completed in the next 12 months. And defect liability period is 12 months. He added that the rail link is expected to greatly alleviate the traffic pressure along Ngong Road, which is a key transport corridor in Nairobi as well as revitalize the existing meter-gauge commuter line in Nairobi.

He said that the commuter corridor will support Kenya to make full use of its existing rail resources, achieve economic and social benefits as well as enable Kenya to become a regional transportation hub.

He also noted that enhanced connectivity between Nairobi’s city center and its surrounding areas will complement the Nairobi 2030 Commuter Rail network strategic plan as well as provide more choices and convenience for local people.

Kipchumba Murkomen, the cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Roads and Transport, said that the Riruta-Ngong Commuter Rail line will be part of the 165 km Nairobi Commuter Railway that traverses four counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado.

Murkomen added that transport infrastructure supports the country’s development blueprint, the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) by facilitating movement and creating employment opportunities.

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