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Old February 9th, 2012, 11:00 AM   #181
Fwesa
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So far the work seems to be progressing well both in quality and speed. But time will tell. I must add though that contractors are increasingly becoming aware of the possibility of not winning future tenders should their work be shoddy.

Jogoo Road rehabilitation is under Kenya Urban Roads Authority not NCC. The Authority is managing projects much better. NCC unfortunately is still stuck in the old days.
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 07:14 AM   #182
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Sometime ago, this photo on Mombasa road (on vandalism), elicited a discussion about whether the site was being prepared for a second railway line.

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Originally Posted by Dhuks
* my eyes tell me this could be the G.M area, down there on the second photo there seems to be some clean up on the railway line. Is kenya railways preparing the site for laying another railway line?
Yep. The standard gauge CBD-Embakasi-JKIA line for the commuter rail project. They have also been clearing several other areas including Kibera.
I passed there on Saturday and saw how the area has been excavated. I realised its actually not preparation for a second railway line but a railway station. I say this because it looks quite similar to how they cleared the area where the Makadara station is currently being constructed.

On a positive note, same saturday, as I drove past the Syokimau station, the gates were open and the car park is complete. It looks really nice. (unfortunately, I could no stop to take any photos).
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 10:21 AM   #183
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Sometime ago, this photo on Mombasa road (on vandalism), elicited a discussion about whether the site was being prepared for a second railway line.



I passed there on Saturday and saw how the area has been excavated. I realised its actually not preparation for a second railway line but a railway station. I say this because it looks quite similar to how they cleared the area where the Makadara station is currently being constructed.

On a positive note, same saturday, as I drove past the Syokimau station, the gates were open and the car park is complete. It looks really nice. (unfortunately, I could no stop to take any photos).
Thanks for the updates.How big is the car park?in your estimation could it accommodate several hundred cars or a thousand maybe? and is it tarmacked/paved.i ask this because if the government wants to promote a Park and commute poilcy, then the car park needs to be big enough to accommodate several motorists who will leave the cars and use the train into town.
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 02:13 PM   #184
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...How big is the car park?in your estimation could it accommodate several hundred cars or a thousand maybe? and is it tarmacked/paved......
I was a bit far, just drove past. However, the part I saw was definately paved with nice kerbs and could accomodate at least 100 cars (give or take), but it could be bigger since I only saw part of it.
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 06:16 PM   #185
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Any photos of the progress on this site/project much appreciated.Any one know if they are first building the stations before they lay down the standard gauge railway line? or are they doing everything cocurrently
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 01:49 PM   #186
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Dawn of a new era as commuter train service becomes a reality in Nairobi

Establishment of a mobile taxi service that operates with no parking bays and the replacement of the 14-seater matatus with high capacity public service buses are only the latest in a series of reform measures that the government intends to take as part of the grand plan to ease traffic in Nairobi.





Yet it is the less talked about Nairobi commuter train service that is shaping up to be the game-changer for policy makers grappling with the city’s congestion problem.

Commission by June

The Sh16 billion ($200 million) project is envisioned to interlink all the key sections of the city with a railway network that converges at Nairobi’s central business district (CBD), eliminating the need for traffic-flow choking vehicles.

“Apart from few remaining ICT facilities, we have completed the Syokimau station as our phase one of the Nairobi metro-train service,” says Alfred Matheka, general manager in charge of finance at Kenya Railways Corporation (KR). President Kibaki is expected to commission the Syokimau railway station by June, making it the first of 10 similar hubs that KR plans to build in partnership with private investors.

The CBD-Syokimau line will eventually extend to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Mr. Matheka says KR had arranged with providers of public transport to start temporary shuttle services between Syokimau and JKIA until a new 6 kilometre track is built to link the section.

“This modernisation project is not just about network and vessels but also about facilities and level of service such as presidential coaches and e-ticketing,” Mr Matheka told Business Daily.

If the Nairobi commuter trains service—which KR is implementing with the technical advice of InfraCo Group—is followed to the letter, then city public transport system is set for radical transformation in coming months.

Apart from the Syokimau Station, the master plan envisages three other new railway stations in Jogoo Road’s Makadara estate, Mombasa Road’s Imara Daima and Nairobi’s Moi Avenue.

Monitor behaviour





All these stations will have bus and car parks, officials said.

On the country’s corridors of power, the plan to roll out commuter train services lies within national integrated transport policy which seeks to instill sanity in the public transport sector.

According to the policy contained in a sessional paper that is currently in Parliament, trains will become a major means of transport with most of city roads being changed to one-way lanes.

Among its other highlights, the national policy will see all the serving matatu drivers and touts being taken through culture change training as government rolls out an integrated information system to monitor their behaviour on roads.

Government officials interviewed said Nairobi Commuter train service represented a fresh layer in their long search for permanent solution to current congestion problem.
http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/C...s/-/index.html
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Old April 4th, 2012, 10:17 AM   #187
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For now, I foresee Syokimau serving mainly airport workers and people looking for cheaper fare options towards Kitengela etc. It is very unlikely that travellers using JKIA will use this train just yet. Just imagine the hustle of accessing the Nairobi railway station, then the crowded train (with many thieves)....Now picture some London bound passenger with two suitacases and a laptop bag squeezing in there. Well, unless am desperately running late and jam is heavy.

In terms of making it useful to such passengers, the whole Nairobi railway station area will need serious improvement. Plus, KR needs to figure out how to ensure some upmarket fellow who fears crowds (especially from the East side of Uhuru highway ) feels safe to use the train.

These are serious issues that need to be addressed. I live in Eastlands myself yet the thought of boarding that crowded train sends shivers! Plus, I do not fancy alighting at Railways and crossing through the chaotic railways bus station and Haile Sellasie.

Well, one might say why not use a cab to the station....to which I will ask, why not just use it the whole 15 kms to the aitport hustle free?
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Old April 4th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Fwesa View Post
For now, I foresee Syokimau serving mainly airport workers and people looking for cheaper fare options towards Kitengela etc. It is very unlikely that travellers using JKIA will use this train just yet. Just imagine the hustle of accessing the Nairobi railway station, then the crowded train (with many thieves)....Now picture some London bound passenger with two suitacases and a laptop bag squeezing in there. Well, unless am desperately running late and jam is heavy.

In terms of making it useful to such passengers, the whole Nairobi railway station area will need serious improvement. Plus, KR needs to figure out how to ensure some upmarket fellow who fears crowds (especially from the East side of Uhuru highway ) feels safe to use the train.

These are serious issues that need to be addressed. I live in Eastlands myself yet the thought of boarding that crowded train sends shivers! Plus, I do not fancy alighting at Railways and crossing through the chaotic railways bus station and Haile Sellasie.

Well, one might say why not use a cab to the station....to which I will ask, why not just use it the whole 15 kms to the aitport hustle free?
I fully agree with you.The railway station at haile selassie is simply one chaotic mess.The PSV matatus and buses have to be moved from that area to create some sanity.Only Shuttles should be allowed to use the station. eg Citi hoppa and 2M and KBS.The Station itself should be paved and proper lighting put in place.

Nairobi City Council should build proper kiosks and stalls and remove/bar any hawkers.The Station needs major renovation, paint job, clean and proper toilet facilities , air conditioning etc.


The Commuter train fares should be more expensive than matatus.I think train fare from City centre to Syokimau should be around 150 kshs and to the airport 200kshs. This will discourage pick pocketers from boarding the train just to steal other peoples valuables.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 10:40 PM   #189
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I fully agree with you.The railway station at haile selassie is simply one chaotic mess.The PSV matatus and buses have to be moved from that area to create some sanity.Only Shuttles should be allowed to use the station. eg Citi hoppa and 2M and KBS.The Station itself should be paved and proper lighting put in place.

Nairobi City Council should build proper kiosks and stalls and remove/bar any hawkers.The Station needs major renovation, paint job, clean and proper toilet facilities , air conditioning etc.


The Commuter train fares should be more expensive than matatus.I think train fare from City centre to Syokimau should be around 150 kshs and to the airport 200kshs. This will discourage pick pocketers from boarding the train just to steal other peoples valuables.
I totally disagree with your last sentiments, though I get what you are getting at. There is no way of getting aroung this.The train will be serving the whole population rich and poor, middle class and all.They just have to beef up security e.g have a guard or two staioned in each train car, have heavy security presence at the stations to deter anyone thinking of commiting a peety crime, lighting and less secluded areas.Control is the key.
I never knew poverty in the USA till I used one of the San Diego trolleys, the same fear you are talking of in Kenya, I had in the US but it is "well oragnized" and you feel secure.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #190
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...and when it rains...

Near Makadara station
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Old April 13th, 2012, 08:31 AM   #191
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I fully agree with you.The railway station at haile selassie is simply one chaotic mess.The PSV matatus and buses have to be moved from that area to create some sanity.Only Shuttles should be allowed to use the station. eg Citi hoppa and 2M and KBS.The Station itself should be paved and proper lighting put in place.

Nairobi City Council should build proper kiosks and stalls and remove/bar any hawkers.The Station needs major renovation, paint job, clean and proper toilet facilities , air conditioning etc.


The Commuter train fares should be more expensive than matatus.I think train fare from City centre to Syokimau should be around 150 kshs and to the airport 200kshs. This will discourage pick pocketers from boarding the train just to steal other peoples valuables.

The commuter train is being built using taxpayers money. Even that pickpocket is a taxpayer (VAT etc).

Besides, the whole point of building a mass transit system is to get everyone to use it. Especially to ease the burden fo those having to struggle with matatus and jams.

Your proposition is seriously in bad taste, to suggest that only "rich" people should be allowed to use it by pricing it out of the means of the ordinary citizen.

If anything, fares for the train should be much cheaper. More volume, less cost.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 09:46 AM   #192
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Interesting discussion. Ironically, (at least for the two countries I have had experience in- UK and SA), rapid trains cost more than buses because they save time. I was in SA when the Gautrain was being introduced and this same debate was alive. Most people felt that pricing was designed to lock out the poor. In London, the tube fares tend to be double bus fares. However, in London, they are still within reach of virtually everyone.

On a sober note, for Nairobi, the reality is that the traffic jams are caused by personal car owners. Most of these have a negative perception towards public transport (hygiene and security). Unless these concerns are addressed, we will not free our highways much. Afterall, if only people who use buses start using the trains then we will still not achieve the goal as these are already using mass transport.

Well may be the trains should have classification (very bad idea) and charge different fares for the different cars.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #193
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Interesting discussion. Ironically, (at least for the two countries I have had experience in- UK and SA), rapid trains cost more than buses because they save time. I was in SA when the Gautrain was being introduced and this same debate was alive. Most people felt that pricing was designed to lock out the poor. In London, the tube fares tend to be double bus fares. However, in London, they are still within reach of virtually everyone.

On a sober note, for Nairobi, the reality is that the traffic jams are caused by personal car owners. Most of these have a negative perception towards public transport (hygiene and security). Unless these concerns are addressed, we will not free our highways much. Afterall, if only people who use buses start using the trains then we will still not achieve the goal as these are already using mass transport.

Well may be the trains should have classification (very bad idea) and charge different fares for the different cars.
+1.

If personal car owners shun the Mass transit systems because of perceptions of insecurity and hygiene, then they will still drive into town and cause traffic jams.As it stands, if matatus and buses were reliable, then private car owners would use them and the teaffic jams would ease.

The Nairobi commuter rail system, atleast from JKIA to nairobi city centre targets the car owners, thats why they are building a huge car park.there is no way trains are going to be cheaper than Matatus or Public buses.

In malaysia, trains are still more expensive than buses, but more reliable and faster.In UK, trains can be more costly than fuelling a 1 litre car for a particular journey.

It is the trend worlwide, that mass transit systems are aimed at car owners.Less people using their cars and using trains, leads to less traffic jams.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 10:34 AM   #194
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How far have they progressed in this project? I have been hearing about it for a few years now.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 10:47 AM   #195
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+1.

If personal car owners shun the Mass transit systems because of perceptions of insecurity and hygiene, then they will still drive into town and cause traffic jams.As it stands, if matatus and buses were reliable, then private car owners would use them and the teaffic jams would ease.

The Nairobi commuter rail system, atleast from JKIA to nairobi city centre targets the car owners, thats why they are building a huge car park.there is no way trains are going to be cheaper than Matatus or Public buses.

In malaysia, trains are still more expensive than buses, but more reliable and faster.In UK, trains can be more costly than fuelling a 1 litre car for a particular journey.

It is the trend worlwide, that mass transit systems are aimed at car owners.Less people using their cars and using trains, leads to less traffic jams.

First, you are comparing very different systems that operate in countries that are economically nowhere near Kenya. I don't think comparing fares in London and Nairobi is even anything you should be doing. The ability of a London resident to pay a certain fare should not be compared to a Nairobi resident's ability.

Second, I think people are confusing different modes of transport. Generally, trains in Europe refer to long distance trains, whereas in-city trains are usually called trams, subways or commuter rail (to suburbs). In that case, of course trains are more expensive, but thats not what Nairobi is doing.

Third, Fwesa's argument that the Metro in London is more expensive than buses is simply not true. The transport system in London works on a concept of fare zones, which work on buses, metros and even the National Rail (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/tickets/fa...inder/current/)

Fourth, the Gautrain was not meant to be a mass transit system but rather a fast train that people would pay extra for if they chose NOT to use the existing mass transit system. Kenya does NOT have an existing mass transit system.

Fifth, the WHOLE point of developing a mass transit system in Nairobi is to get rid of matatus!!!!!! Even though the number of Vitzes and Proboxes have skyrocketed, traffic in Nairobi majorly consists of PSVs (according to the feasibility study for THika Road, whose link I cant find). Thus building a rail line for Vitz owners is just dumb, as it won't solve the traffic problems.

And Ernesto Mbayo's argument that mass transit systems are aimed at car owners is misplaced in the Kenyan contextx. If you look at Germany, there is literally three cars for each household. So of course if they all drove them at the same time, there would be chaos. In. Kenya, there is probably one car for five hundred families (this is my own wild guess So this argument has no justification in Kenya.

And to end my long rant, I am just shocked at the level of displaced elitism and lack of concern for fellow Kenyans. Because the implication I get from this discussion is.... screw all those poor Kenyans, the government should only build a rail line for "rich" Kenyans who can afford to buy Vitzes and Proboxes? Seriously? Many of those Kenyans who struggle every morning to take matatus because they can't afford a Vitz and waste hours in jams are the backbone upon which this country is built, who pay taxes even when they cant get enough food. They are the ones who need a reliable transit system!!!!!!
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Old April 13th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #196
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First, you are comparing very different systems that operate in countries that are economically nowhere near Kenya. I don't think comparing fares in London and Nairobi is even anything you should be doing. The ability of a London resident to pay a certain fare should not be compared to a Nairobi resident's ability.
I wasn't comparing fares between London and nairobi.i was comparing fares between London trains and driving a car in London.

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Second, I think people are confusing different modes of transport. Generally, trains in Europe refer to long distance trains, whereas in-city trains are usually called trams, subways or commuter rail (to suburbs). In that case, of course trains are more expensive, but thats not what Nairobi is doing.

Third, Fwesa's argument that the Metro in London is more expensive than buses is simply not true. The transport system in London works on a concept of fare zones, which work on buses, metros and even the National Rail (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/tickets/fa...inder/current/)
Fwesa is very right.I live in london and i commute every day in london to work.A weekly Bus pass, which entitles you to travel anywhere in London for an adult is 17£ a week(12£ for students). A weekly Train/tube pass for zone 1 - zone 3 is around 33£ for an adult.That is almost double.A single journey by train can cost you upto 3£, while a day bus pass, which entitles you to travel anywhere in London as many times as you want is 4£.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14416.aspx

Train fares in UK, particularly in London are some of the most expensive in Europe.

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Fourth, the Gautrain was not meant to be a mass transit system but rather a fast train that people would pay extra for if they chose NOT to use the existing mass transit system. Kenya does NOT have an existing mass transit system.

Fifth, the WHOLE point of developing a mass transit system in Nairobi is to get rid of matatus!!!!!!
Am sorry but so far, that does not seem to be the case.hence the huge car park coming up in mlolongo.Do you expect matatus to terminate their journeys at syokimau and park at the car park?

Buses and matatus work alongside trains.Again, its the trend everywhere in the world.You take a bus to the nearest train station, and then take the train to your final destination.

You can't get rid of matatus.Since trains will not get you to every corner that a matatu will.

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Even though the number of Vitzes and Proboxes have skyrocketed, traffic in Nairobi majorly consists of PSVs (according to the feasibility study for THika Road, whose link I cant find). Thus building a rail line for Vitz owners is just dumb, as it won't solve the traffic problems.
Last time i checked majority of vehicles in Nairobi are private motor vehicles.PSV matatus are estimated to be around 22,000 in the city.With the rest of the motor vehicles ( over 500,000) being Private cars.

Quote:
And Ernesto Mbayo's argument that mass transit systems are aimed at car owners is misplaced in the Kenyan contextx. If you look at Germany, there is literally three cars for each household. So of course if they all drove them at the same time, there would be chaos. In. Kenya, there is probably one car for five hundred families (this is my own wild guess So this argument has no justification in Kenya.
It has alot of justification in nairobi because Private cars outnumber Matatus by far.remember we are not comparing the number of kenyans who own cars,we are comparing the number of private cars to the number of PSV's.Ofcourse in germany, more people own cars than in kenya.no one is disputing that.But that is not the argument at hand.

The fact of the matter is, when you stand on mombasa road, you will count more Private cars than matatus/psvs, by far.If 80% of these private cars were parked at Syokimau station, and the drivers took the train into town, there would be a very significant decrease in traffic jams on mombasa road.

It is simple, 14 private car owners,equals 14 private cars.14 matatu passengers equals 1 Matatu.

14 Cars parked at syokimau, equals 14 less cars on mombasa road.14 Matatu passengers using the commuter rail from syokimau equals 1 less car on mombasa road.

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And to end my long rant, I am just shocked at the level of displaced elitism and lack of concern for fellow Kenyans. Because the implication I get from this discussion is.... screw all those poor Kenyans, the government should only build a rail line for "rich" Kenyans who can afford to buy Vitzes and Proboxes? Seriously? Many of those Kenyans who struggle every morning to take matatus because they can't afford a Vitz and waste hours in jams are the backbone upon which this country is built, who pay taxes even when they cant get enough food. They are the ones who need a reliable transit system!!!!!!
It is important not to get feelings mixed in with logic.The numbers don't lie.If you expect trains to be cheaper than matatus, then am sorry but you will be disappointed.If you expect that trains will get rid of matatus, then you will be disappointed.One things for sure, convince Car owners in Nairobi that they can ditch their cars in favour of the trains,and you will get a massive reprieve of traffic jams.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #197
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Whatever the argument is the commuter rail network should be a mass transport system and if you did your maths right the people who shuttle to town using their own means are fewer than those who use buses and matatus. if the intention of the pricing is to discourage people from using their own vehicles then the solution lies in overcharging parking in town and not overpricing the mass transport system to make it less affordable for the less endowed.
Why cant there be different coaches with different rates and comfort same as we had metro shuttle sometime back in the bus system?
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Old April 13th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #198
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Whatever the argument is the commuter rail network should be a mass transport system and if you did your maths right the people who shuttle to town using their own means are fewer than those who use buses and matatus.
Again, no one is disputing this.The argument is, who, between the matatus and private car owners are more numerous and hence contribute immensely to the traffic snarl ups?The answer is very clear.Private motorvehicles outnumber PSVs.These are the people who should be discouraged from driving into town.

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if the intention of the pricing is to discourage people from using their own vehicles then the solution lies in overcharging parking in town and not overpricing the mass transport system to make it less affordable for the less endowed.
Nairobi parking charges have more than doubled in the last 10 years.And still car owners scramble to get to town.

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Why cant there be different coaches with different rates and comfort same as we had metro shuttle sometime back in the bus system?
The journey time is too short to justify a different pricing tier system with more costly coaches.

People do not seem to get the logic of a mass rail transit system.It cannot work in isolation.buses, matatus and taxis work alongside trains.

Remember 140 passengers in matatus will only occupy 10 matatus.While 140 car owners will occupy 140 cars.Once people get this logic, then it will be clear why car owners should be the primary target of the commuter rail network.

Again, the argument is not How many kenyans own cars versus kenyans who commute using PSVs.The argument is, which mode of transport, Matatus vS Private Vehicles are greater in number and hence contribute more to traffic jams.




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Old April 13th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #199
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I am just shocked at the level of displaced elitism and lack of concern for fellow Kenyans. Because the implication I get from this discussion is.... screw all those poor Kenyans, the government should only build a rail line for "rich" Kenyans who can afford to buy Vitzes and Proboxes?
Jayc, do not make assumptions. It would help you to know that I do not own a car and move mainly by public transport. So my point was not elitist, it is just based on facts. Stand on any Nairobi road today, even those in Eastlands where I stay and look at the roads. They are clogged by private cars. This situation will continue to increase exponentially as has happened over the last 10 days.

Let me refer to the feasibility study you talked about. If I am not mistaken, it is the one done by JICA in 2001. Surely, even you should agree that the rate of increase of private cars has grown much more than public between 2001 and 2012.

I do not see how decongesting the city will take place unless we deal with private car owners. We the mwananchi are already using KBS, hanging on the Dandora train and walking from Industrial area to Kibera enmass.

Allow me to show you exerpts from a 2007 study

Quote:
DECONGESTING NAIROBI - URBANTRANSPORTATION CHALLENGES By King’ori Zacharia Irungu, Senior Economist, Roads Department. @ http://www.scribd.com/doc/2382775/De...obi-City-Kenya

Trip composition by travel mode is:

• Matatu-29%

• Bus-3.7%

• Private Car/Taxi/Truck-15.3%

• Two – wheel mode-1.2%

• KR(Railway)-0.4%

• School or College Bus-3.1%

• Walking-47%

• Others-0.2%

Note this:

Passenger cars command about 36% of Nairobi vehicle counts,
23% are pick-up/4WD vehicles,

3% are Buses and 27% Matatus

Occupancy rates are

2 in personal cars,

2 in pickup/4WD,

14 in matatus,

25 in mini buses,

34 in buses,

About 70% of car users in Nairobi would change traffic mode if parking fees and fuel prices were increased by over 50%. However, 30% of the car users would not changeeven if parking fee was increased by 300% or fuel price increased by 100%;

If new public transport system (bus exclusive road, LRT) with faster average speedthan car was introduced in Nairobi in future, 46% of car users would switch to newmode since fare would also be reasonable at about KShs 27 (US$ 0.4).

Resistance to change would be influenced by hate of walking and waiting; having baggage;uncomfortable public transport; and security fears.
As you can see 59% (36% cars, 23% pick-ups and 4WD) of vehicles are just private. The fast growing middle class of Nairobi will push this to 70% soon, especially as we improve highways. Experience from other countries shows that as highways are built, more people shift from public to private cars.

Last edited by Fwesa; April 13th, 2012 at 04:24 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernestombayo7 View Post



Nairobi parking charges have more than doubled in the last 10 years.And still car owners scramble to get to town.


And what makes you think they will change to trains this time round?
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