#Kenya: #Nairobi Council Pushes for Electric Train

Similar project has been rolled out in Ethiopia where two such electric light trains have been installed in Addis Ababa, with a total of 39 sub-stations, moving 60,00 people per hour in and out of the city.

An electric train. Nairobi MCAs have begun the push for an electric light rail transit system to rival Addis Ababa.

Nation Media Group: Nairobi MCAs have begun the push to have the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and City Hall to begin the process of putting up an electric light rail transit system to rival Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.


The ward representatives, in a motion already approved by the House, urged the two entities to undertake feasibility studies to determine the viability of the project.

Hospital Ward MCA Patrick Musili, the mover of the motion, said having an electric light train in Nairobi will help reduce traffic congestion in the city as well as reduce pollution caused by the many diesel-operated matatus.

He pointed out that a similar project has been rolled out in Ethiopia where two such electric light trains have been installed in Addis Ababa, with a total of 39 sub-stations, moving 60,00 people per hour in and out of the city.

The first, installed in September 2015, is a 17-kilometre light rail transit line running from the northern part of the city to its industrial areas in the south.

The second one is a 14.6-kilometre light rail transit line, commissioned in November 2015 running from the east to the west of Addis Ababa.

Technical committee

Subsequently, the Nairobi ward representatives called on both City Hall and NMS to establish a multi-agency technical committee made up of officers from relevant agencies to speed up the process.

The committee, made up of representatives from the relevant agencies, stakeholders in the transport industry and two experts from reputable firms dealing with light railway system, will be tasked with conducting an economic feasibility study to determine the cost-benefit analysis of an electric light rail transit system in the city.

This should then be followed by a technical feasibility study for the anticipatory establishment of the electric light rail transit system against the required resources.


Then will follow the operational feasibility study to determine if the county’s needs would be met by the proposed project.

Mr Musili pointed to a 2019 research by Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Namata) which ranked Nairobi as the fourth most congested city in the world, with traffic jam costing the country about Sh100 billion annually.

“On average, travel time to come to the city centre is 57 minutes whereas on average in other cities in the world it take 15 minutes because of established and reliable mode of public transport,” he said.

Comprehensive report

The proposed committee should come up with a comprehensive report within four months from the date of establishment of the technical committee on the reliability, sustainability and availability of the proposed project.

Minority Whip Peter Imwatok said the perennial traffic problems experienced in the capital are due to low levels of a scheduled public transport system that lacks an elaborate motorised network.

The project, he said, will see the building of a cost-effective public transportation system to reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.

“Many people are scared of using matatus, first because of their safety and secondly there is no comfort. That is why many people would prefer to use their cars,” he said.

Dandora Area 4 MCA Francis Ngesa added that in coming up with a safe, reliable and clean modern transport system as is being proposed, there will be no need to have private cars in the city roads.


“There will be no need for you to fuel your car at Sh2,000 to come to the city while you can pay Sh200 for the same and go back to your home at the comfort of your seat in the rail transport system.”

● Source: https://nation.africa/kenya/counties/nairobi/nairobi-mcas-push-for-electric-train-3504512

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