KeNHA reopens JKIA northern link road after 7 years

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has reopened the North-Airport road after a near seven-year closure. Traffic on the re-opened link to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) will however be limited to high capacity buses under the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system. The road was closed in February 2014 by the highways agency in line with schedule 71 (1) of the Traffic Act which guides the closure of roads and coincided with a steep rise in sporadic terror attacks in the country which often hit Public Service Vehicles (PSVs). Access to JKIA has until now been limited to Mombasa Road where an enhanced passenger and vehicle screening point was established in the same year. The move to re-open JKIA’s northside access comes on the back of the launch of the Nairobi-JKIA express service by the Transport Ministry which aimed at improving connectivity to the international airport. On Monday last week, the express service which combines both train and bus services commenced operations. The service allows users to board a train from the Nairobi Central Station inside the Central Business District to Embakasi from where a bus completes the rest of the journey into JKIA. The entire journey is estimated at 32 minutes but costs Ksh.500 per passenger. An indirect trip on the same route but with multiple stops along the train route however costs Ksh.140. The launch of the express service further follows the operation of the diesel multiple units (DMU) that begun plying different routes within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area last month. Transport experts have welcomed the move by government to cut the time taken to access JKIA but have called on an initial subsidization of costs to boost the service’s aggregate demand. “Part of Kenyans would find the costs levied on the service as inhibitive. To stimulate demand, the government would consider incentivizing commuters say for two or three years. In the long run, however, the service presents the opportunity for significant savings in travel time,” Transport Economist David-Nashon Wamwayi told Citizen Digital in a recent interview

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