Mombasa eyes mass rail system in talks with JICA
The county government has started negotiations with a Japanese agency to build a mass transport system to link the city to the standard gauge railway (SGR) terminus in Changamwe.
The move is part of the county’s master plan to reorganise the city by 2040 and Mombasa into a vibrant economic hub.
Speaking on Wednesday at Serena Beach Resort in Mombasa, county secretary Francis Thoya said an efficient mass transport system was necessary to ferry commuters to and from SGR station in Miritini.
“Expansion of roads is not going to be the ultimate solution to traffic congestion of the city.
“The county has written a proposal to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) over the construction of a post-Miritini terminus connecting railway line,” said Mr Thoya.
The proposal was sent last month and a “possibility of positive response is high”, the county secretary said.
The proposed rail system is expected to ease transportation of visitors and residents from Moi International Airport to the North Coast as well as reduce traffic congestion in Mombasa and Kilifi County’s lower town of Mtwapa.
Mr Thoya said the county was in talks with the national government and expressed optimism that the idea would be received well.
“The county had earlier discussed with the Kenya Railway Corporation about the project.
“What we will need is a nod from the national government. We do not expect them to fund the project. But I am sure they will support he initiative,” he said.
Speaking at the Sixth International Asia-Africa Seminar for Urban Development organised by JICA, Mr Thoya said the rail system would be in place in less than 10 years after approval.
From the seminar, it emerged that implementation of new plans for cities in Africa is plagued by change of regimes, a lack of consensus among implementers, locals and governments.
In Mombasa for instance, the county executive said, a lack of consultation between the national government and the county stalls infrastructure project due to conflict in relocating landowners.