By Arap Yego
The endemic traffic jams that are synonymous on Nairobi roads are set to be a thing of the past following plans to launch a train service connecting the city’s suburbs
The ambitious $150 million (Sh 15 billion) urban passenger train project connecting Nairobi suburbs to the city centre is set to be launched by June, according to President Uhuru Kenyatta. It will be financed by Kenya and the Hungary government.
“ This project will ease traffic congestion in the city besides transferring technology to Kenyans. No development Conscious Kenyan will oppose such project,” said President Kenyatta.
Speaking on Friday when he held talks with the Hungary Ambassador to Kenya, Eduard Laszlo Mathe, President Kenyatta said phase one of the project will connect the Standard Gauge Railway(SGR) end point in Nairobi to the railway station in the city centre.
“Other proposed branches of the project will include Thika Road, Ngong Road, Ongata Rongai and Limuru Road all connecting to the city centre,” he added, at the meeting with the envoy who had paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.
The President directed the Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and senior officials of the ministry were at the meeting to ensure the project is completed on schedule.
On his part the Hungarian ambassador said the proposed tram service will transform the way people in the capital city get to work.
“It is expected to transport about 300,000 passengers a day and even more when all the branches are fully operational,” he said.
He explained that Hungarian engineers will train their Kenyan counterparts to make materials and transfer the skills to manage the project.
“In line with Hungary’s new foreign policy for Africa to reinforce economic relations, we will train and equip Kenyans with skills to develop the project and own it. This project will be made in Kenya,” the ambassador said.
The envoy disclosed that his country has implemented a similar project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.