City train in early schedule to net more commuters

Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi commuter train will depart from the city centre to Ruiru via Umoja and Dandora estates an hour earlier in a review aimed at boosting passenger numbers.

The new schedule will see the train depart at 5:40 pm, targeting those leaving their workplaces at 5pm.

Previously, the train departed the Nairobi station at 6:40pm and arrived in Ruiru at 8:10pm—a move that pushed many to buses.

“It was observed that most customers plying the route, prefer to use the trains earlier than when it was scheduled resulting in low passenger numbers,” said Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina.

“The revision now means that customers [will] arrive early at their destinations.”

Revenue from the passenger business dropped from Sh206 million in 2012 to Sh101 million on reduced passenger numbers and suspension of the long distance service to Mombasa.

Kenya Railways, which took over the service from Rift Valley Railways in July, charges Sh40 to Ruiru, which is half the Sh80 for matatus during peak time.

The Embakasi train will depart the Nairobi station at 6:00pm as opposed to 6:05pm, while the one to Kikuyu via Kibera will depart five minutes earlier at 5.35 pm.

The cheaper commuter train plies the Dandora, Ruiru, Umoja, Makadara, Imara Daima, Embakasi, Kibera, Kikuyu and Soykimau routes.