I’m a move that could signal a death blow to online taxis and traditional taxis, the Kenya Railways has launched a direct train from the CBD to the jomo Kenyatta international Airport (JKIA). The train service that will entail the use of both rail and road, commuters will be dropped at the Embakasi Village Station before boarding a BRT service bus to JKIA.
“The Nairobi Commuter Rail Service to JKIA journey entails a ride on the diesel multiple unit train up to Embakasi Village station. Customers will then board the BRT bus to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport” the Kenya Railways commission said.
The train ride will cost a flat rate of Ksh. 500 for a one way trip.
Though the move is seen as meant to offer a faster route to and from the airport, the move may blow a technical knockout on taxi drivers who mainly operate between th CBD and the main airport, with the train offering a more affordable route. Digital taxi drivers that we contacted for comments have decried the government move especially in a season when their business has been low largely due to controlled movements during the pandemic.
The taxi industry, especially for the digital taxi, has been largely ignored by the government. On several occasions, the digital taxi drivers and partners have gone on strike protesting exploitation from the taxi apps but the government has turned a deaf ear to their cries, despite promising reforms in a sector that employs thousands of Kenyans.