Kenya has taken a massive step towards solving the traffic situation in Nairobi. The East African country has launched the second phase of the new railway line connecting the capital Nairobi to the Rift Valley region.
Kenyan Railways have announced that the line which is opening today is dedicated to passenger services only. The railway is a good step in the right direction as Kenya will make significant progress in solving the traffic problem in Nairobi.
It is no news that Kenya has a traffic congestion problem. The former Nairobi Governor, Mr. Evans Kidero once said that the city's traffic costs the country an estimated $570,000 daily in lost productivity.
Nairobi County has initially proposed car-free Wednesdays and Saturdays in two of the busiest parts of the city to reduce traffic congestion. Now, that may not be needed as the rails will help decongest the roads.
However, the railways' authorities have revealed that cargo services will have to wait for the construction of a dry port.
The China Communications and Construction Company has built the 120km (74 miles) stretch at the cost of 150 billion Kenyan shillings ($1.4bn; £1.10bn).
Passenger services will only be available in four of the 12 stations; The Business Daily newspaper quotes Kenya Railways head Philip Mainga as saying.
The initial plan was for the railway to run from the coastal town of Mombasa to the lakeside city of Kisumu, and a possible extension to Uganda.
About 80% of the money for the railway came through loans from China.
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