Rongai Matatus on Deathbed as SGR Set to Get Commuters to Town in 23 Minutes

A Madaraka Express train docked at a railway terminal

The government has introduced deadly competition to the infamous Ongata Rongai route matatus with the launch of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Phase 2A.

The new SGR service will operate between Nairobi and Suswa, with Ongata Rongai and Ngong residents set to reap the most from the link.

Ongata Rongai and Ngong are some of the Nairobi routes troubled by heavy traffic especially during peak hours, despite the government constructing bypass roads to provide alternatives for motorists plying these routes.

Nairobi roads are often marred by heavy traffic during peak hours

Because of the relatively low cost of living in the two estates, individuals working in Nairobi prefer living in these outskirts and live with the struggle of daily heavy traffic and high bus fares.

Buses plying the Ongata Rongai route are, for example, notorious for charging exorbitant fares that shoot up to Ksh200 especially when it rains.

A section of the infamous Ongata Rongai matatus on display

The commencement of the SGR Phase 2A operations is a welcome move for Rongai and Ngong residents since the train fares have been set to a sensible Ksh100 from Nairobi to both destinations.

The journey that takes almost two hours on the road from Ongata Rongai/Ngong will take a surprising 23 minutes via the SGR trains, which will be operational all week long except on Saturdays.

The journey from Nairobi to Ngong will take 40 minutes.

Passengers who prefer extra comfort also have the option of paying Ksh200 for first-class seats on the trains.

The SGR trains will also make stops at Maai-Mahiu.

Operations had been set to commence in June, but issues with compensation of landowners caused a four-month delay.

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