New commuter trains are set to start operating on the Nairobi-Thika route in latest efforts to ease traffic on the highway, especially at peak hours.
State Department for Housing and Urban Development PS Charles Hinga said the recently procured commuter trains would make regular stopovers at newly constructed substations of Mwiki, Githurai and Ruiru every 30 minutes.
“We injected Sh360 million to construct the Githurai link between Thika Superhighway and the Githurai railway substation. With this mass transit system in place, we will be creating more business opportunities where our people will be able to visit market centres and head home with ease,” he said.
Speaking when he launched the first phase of the Sh500 million multi-storied Githurai Market, Mr Hinga said the fresh produce market and the railway link would create new business linkages to complement benefits accruing from the superhighway.
“We want the Nairobi-Mwiki-Githurai and Ruiru areas to enjoy 24-hour economies.
“I welcome the installation of floodlights by Kiambu County government within Githurai that will see traders work in shifts,” he said.
Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro said the county had allocated Sh300 million with the national government adding Sh200 million towards the construction of the market that sits on a 3.87-acre plot.
The fresh produce wholesale market sources food supplies from other centres while thousands of residents in the locality also shop in Githurai.
Other markets under construction are Ruiru and Kikuyu, which have also been connected to the commuter railway being implemented under the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project.
Rapid urbanisation has witnessed the emergence of uncoordinated growth that has left many centres and towns around Nairobi crowded as local investors constructed haphazard structures for newcomers.
This has created new challenges on waste disposal, sewerage and drainage connections as well as unending congestion at bus stops and traffic on link roads due to a lack of mass transit services.