The potential impact of railway infrastructure on connectivity within Nairobi metropolitan- a case of Limuru Town (Kiambu County)
Kinuthia, Hannah W.
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This study finds ground from the fact that railway infrastructure provide effective transport and plays a significant role in enhancing and improving urban growth and urban dynamics. Railway transport is the second most-used mode of transport after roads in Kenya, for both freight and passenger traffic. It has been argued that improvement of this mode of transport in Kenya would boost the economic performance of business enterprises which would in turn contribute to social economic growth of the country. Railway infrastructure encompasses different type of trains such as Mass Rapid Transit System and Light Rail Transit, railway stations, and railroads. This infrastructure is needed to provide services for a rapidly expanding Nairobi including significant growth in satellite towns and areas outside the city periphery. Potential benefits of effective rail way infrastructure include improved air quality, reduced travel costs, reduced traffic congestion and economic savings in time and fuel. Connectivity in transport implies increased pedestrian convenience, efficiency in freight transportation, reduced environmental pollution, enhanced land use patterns and increased socio-economic opportunities of a place. The study focuses on potential impact of railway infrastructure on improving connectivity within Nairobi metropolitan, effect of policy and regulatory framework on railway transport, and challenges affecting railway infrastructure in Kenya. The sampling frame for the area of study comprised a number of institutions, users of railway network, residents and the business community in Limuru town. Primary data will be collected through survey of the study area, direct observation guides, personal interviews schedules and structured questionnaires were among instruments used in data collection exercise. This study underscores the need to evolve a plan that will provide a framework for effective planning and management of railway infrastructure in the Nairobi Metropolitan. It is strongly recommended that a comprehensive approach be employed in the planning and management of railway infrastructure. This approach wins support as it brings all stakeholders on board to plan and manage the rail infrastructure. In order to achieve this it is necessary to initiate, develop and sustain public-private partnership, railway infrastructure enhancement programmes and institutional capacity building.