Kenya Railways, through the Nairobi Commuter Rail Service, on Thursday halved their initial pricing of Sh500 per trip for the new railway link from the city centre to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Kenya Railways said that the new prices will remain in place for the next 90 days.
There will be three departures from CBD to Embakasi Village Railway Station while using the Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) after which passengers will then be ferried through the Airport South Road, which has been dedicated to the Nairobi Commuter Rail Bus also referred to as the Bus Rapid Transit Vehicles.
The first express service train will depart at 5:45am to arrive at Embakasi station at 6:10am. Passengers will then use the BRT which will depart after five minutes to the final destination which is JKIA.
The second train will depart at 11am and arrive at JKIA at 11:50 while that last train to depart CBD will be at 8:00pm and arrive at JKIA at 9:00pm.
From JKIA to CBD, Kenya Railways has allocated two trips. The BRT will leave JKIA at 6am arriving at Embakasi station at 6:15am. The train will then depart at 6:19am and make its final stop in the CBD.
The second trip will start 11:50am and end at 12:44pm.
Apart from the DMU’s, Kenya Railways, in conjunction with Kenya Airways, said that they will also operate the six trips using regular trains from CBD to JKIA via Embakasi station and seven trips from JKIA to CBD every day.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia last week told the Nation that the pricing of the trains was justified, saying that the distance between JKIA and Nairobi city centre is 20km, and travel should take between 30 minutes to less than an hour.
However, it takes up to two hours due to traffic on the usually busy Mombasa Road.
“Commuters will be able to catch a train from the Nairobi Railway Station up to the Embakasi Village Railway Station after which they will then be ferried through the Airport South Road, which has been dedicated to the Nairobi Commuter Rail Bus also referred to as the Bus Rapid Transit Vehicles,” said Mr Macharia.
State officials initially stated that the Sh500 train, will operate throughout the day, is cheaper and faster than taxi services.
“We are happy to launch this new service that will enhance faster travel time for passengers heading into and outside the country,” Kenya Railways managing director Philip Mainga said.
The launch of the JKIA Express Service follows the commissioning last month of the DMUs by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who assured that the rail track will be extended to the airport.